Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book talk: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

[In an effort not to reveal their romance or any spoilers, I limited myself to the earliest part of plot.]

It really, really irritates me when people read over my shoulder, especially if I’m on a bus or a train, because then it’s harder to get rid of them. Park takes the bus to school every day, and he’s sort of considered a cool kid, but he’s also sort of an independent. You know how high school is.  A decidedly not cool girl -- Eleanor (even her name is uncool) --  has been sitting next to Park on the bus – every single day: to school and back home – and he just figured out that she’s been surreptitiously reading his comics while he’s reading them: that’s brazen. 
 Eleanor’s the kind of girl you’d feel sorry for if she wasn’t always sitting right next to you in closed quarters. She dresses really, really oddly (a giant men’s shirt with seashells all over it?!), seems to have no friends, and is already a bully target. Park feels as if he should say something to her – in fact, he’s always felt that way about her, which is odd and unexplainable because he’s never felt that way about anyone, ever – and he wants to say something to her, but he’s gone so long now without speaking to her that he doesn’t know what to do. Something is up with him, you know. And something must be up with her, as well, or she’d sit next to someone else. For now, he makes sure she can see the books and he turns the pages a little more slowly.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. St. Martin's Griffin, 2013. 336 p. Booktalk to high school; has crossover appeal for adults, as well.

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