*WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS* TARA, TOTALLY UNDERSTAND IF YOU DON’T RESPOND TO THIS BLOG (cause you should absolutely read Eleanor and Park!)
Not sorry for this blog being late! Okay, a little bit! But totally worth the wait to finish Eleanor and Park earlier this week. I loved it! I had completely fallen in love only to have my heart broken and left with a million questions. Here are my biggest questions: Will Eleanor and Park ever reunite with later in life? At all? I am curious to know if they’ll reunite at all, not necessarily in a relationship or even in friendship. Perhaps pen pals? Or maybe just pass each other on the street one day? Or this where there time together ends?
My next series of questions is: Will Park ever find a love that intense again? After finishing the book, I went onto Rainbow Rowell’s website and to paraphrase a blog she had written was that at 17, there are no happy endings, only beginnings. I completely agree. However, at the end of the book, Park moves on and certainly doesn’t have the same emotion for the new girl in his life has he had for Eleanor. Was Eleanor the great love of Park’s life? Or was she simply the beginning? These are the questions that keep me awake at night!
Anyways, in the end I did love the book, however, I had THE hardest time getting into it. It wasn’t until Park figured out that Eleanor had been reading Park’s comic books over his shoulder, that I finally got into it. And once Park held Eleanor’s hand for the first time, I couldn’t put it down. I was relieved, that Rainbow Rowell didn’t make it a love at first sight story. I wouldn’t have picked this book had it been that way. In fact, I really liked that part of their relationship, that they at first, the couldn’t even stand sitting next to each other, let alone look at each other. Once, they finally get together, they couldn’t stop thinking about each other.
This book felt somewhat sentimental. When Park pulls Eleanor behind the RV to kiss her for the first time, and then every night thereafter, reminded me of high school. I am still together with my high school boyfriend so it was a cure reminder of sneaking around to be able to kiss him past curfew. My boyfriend also lives next door to grandmother so it was funny that Park also lived next door to his grandparents. Both families, never lock their doors….weird.
From an educator’s standpoint, Eleanor’s story is absolutely heartbreaking. Eleanor was close to asking her guidance counselor, Mrs. Dunne, for a toothbrush. Aside from that, so many of Eleanor’s needs were not met once she went home. What can we do as educators to identify and help these students? I can point them to resources or hand a mature enough student this book. How can I directly help this student? Eleanor was right, if she had just asked for a toothbrush, Mrs. Dunne would have given her one, but then other details of her home life were at risk of getting out too. How can I help the student who fears speaking up?
I look forward to reading more of Rainbow Rowell’s books! I recommend this book and any Rainbow Rowell book to anyone! I plan on reading Fangirl this summer!