Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

This does remind me of something, but I’m not sure what.

It’s a romance, but it’s not fluffy. It’s edgy, with slightly bruised and battered characters despite their youth. They aren’t lovely, they aren’t the centre of attention, they’re barely getting by on the edges.

The language surprised me. I swore like a bar worker through my teens and early twenties but reject bad language now, and I found the first few pages uncomfortable going. That faded away as I got into the swing of it, and I found myself absorbed into the story.

Perhaps it’s something like Heathers? But not quite. No, that’s not it. It’s a John Hughes movie maybe, but not quite so polished. Because most of those have soft edges, while Eleanor and Park is definitely prickly.

The cultural references amused me. It felt strange to have so many familiar songs and books from my own teen years in a modern YA book. I did wonder what Big made of that, I suppose most of them must have passed her by. And the cultural stuff felt a little false, not that I know much about Korean culture it has to be said.

All in all, this was an absorbing read, more challenging than other YA romances I’ve read recently, but feeling like it’s definitely a keeper. (I nearly started rereading it immediately. But I decided I’d rather have a little gap then I could cherish it properly. )

Linky to be added later, I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading.

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for 14 years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

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