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 Longest

This year marks my fiftieth year in AAUW (American Association of University Women). The Alvin chapter was begun in 1947, and as a new, green teacher to Alvin Independent School District, I joined in 1968. In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015. Eventually Powerful Women Readers folded as an on-line book club, but I kept the title and turned it into a blog. (See "Introduction,"first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 28th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

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