ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell: Review, guest post by Savanna Sanchez, Advanced Writing Student

As an avid reader of love stories, I knew I must read Eleanor and Park once a friend gave me the suggestion. The story alternates between the two characters as they figure out the complicated matters of their first love. Eleanor is the new girl in town and struggles with a bad home life. Park, a half-Korean comic book lover, is just figuring out his life and himself. Eleanor, her mother, her abusive step-father, and her four younger siblings live in poverty. The stepfather terrorizes the entire family. Eleanor’s mom wants to pretend everything is fine, even though Richie is violent and abusive. Park’s home life is much more welcoming than Eleanor’s; the parents have a loving relationship, and they have a comfortable lifestyle. Still, Park faces tensions at home since his dad wants him to be more masculine, and Park always feels he’s letting his dad down. When Eleanor sits down on the bus next to Park, they are both resentful of the situation. Soon, however, this changes radically. Eleanor and Park slowly begin to form a connection over the course of their bus rides. They first build their relationship silently by listening to music and reading comic books together. Eventually, their relationship grows; they start talking, and their bus rides become the best part of their day. As the story progresses, these two are smart enough to know that first love never lasts, but are brave and desperate enough to try.

Note from Rae: Please leave a comment in the response box and let Savanna know if you have read or are tempted to read the book by her review.

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Author: Rae Reads

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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