Friday, June 26, 2015

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse - Eleanor & Park

Welcome to another edition of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse. The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  Please join us:

This month I'm going to tell you about Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I was convinced to buy it after reading an article from the Bent Agency (which I would link to if I wasn't such an idiot and deleted the message AND emptied my trash.) which talked about characters and how to deepen them, give the reader more. Eleanor & Park was given as an example and this prompted me to click buy.

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

I loved this book. I loved Eleanor (who happens to have my favorite name) and Park, both of whom embody all the awkwardness of being a teenager combined with being different. Eleanor might be white, but she's poor white trash (and I mean poor, like she has to hold her bra together with a safety pin), overweight, with bright red completely unmanageable hair. Park is Asian (Korean actually - and I totally would've fallen in love with him, too) and perhaps the only person of color in their homogenous high school. Somehow they fall in love. And that's all I'm going to say except that I adored them both. Also, Park's parents were totally awesome.  


  1. They do sound like an odd combination, but stranger things have happened.

  2. Was it opposites attract? I do hope things work out for them both. 1986 we were still quite bigoted and prejudiced in our outlook on life.

    1. They weren't really opposites, imo. Can't tell you how it worked out (spoiler) but I highly recommend the book.

  3. I think someone else in our circle read this recently but I can't think who. It looks like a lot of fun. Wonderful cover, too.

  4. I read this about two years ago and just adored it. It's a fantastic read which appeals to older readers of YA for the simple fact that it takes place in the late 80s/early 90s. People still had telephones with cords....
    It has a beautifully rendered, innocent, soulful romance. Great recommendation!
    V :)

  5. Sounds like a different but good combination of characters. Glad you loved it.

  6. *face palm* I completely forgot about this monthly meet 'n greet about books we've read. I must change my forgetful ways soon or I might as well get a cane and wear a blank look on my face permanently.
    Eleanor and Park sounds like a writer's treasure and one I need to read for expertise alone. A good storyline is definitely a bonus *G*

  7. I've heard this is a really good book. Thank you for the review!

  8. Ooooh. Consider me filled with bookie lust. Again. This sounds like an absolute gem. But will have to wait. After a book-fair and a closing down sale I picked up about fifty more books this week.

  9. I've heard of this book but haven't managed to pick it up. 1986... I remember 1986.

  10. I've seen a number of reviews of this book and seen it on "best of" lists. It's on my Amazon wish list.


  11. Well now. You've convinced me to add this to my reading list.

  12. You've convinced me too! :)

  13. New aged starcrossed; gotta be interesting.

  14. I will have to check this book out.
    Wonderful review.

    cheers, parsnip

  15. my new publisher mostly does YA, so I'm all swamped with translations of teensy novels these days... currently finishing Jennifer Niven's ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES.... I just wish most of today's teen books would be more profound and educational

  16. I've nominated you for an award on my blog.

  17. This sounds like a terrific book. Thanks for the recommendation.

    And that conversation? Sounds like one my hubby and I might have had when we were 14 or 15. (That's about the time he TOLD me we were getting married, the know-it-all.)


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