Rainbow Rowell - Eleanor & Park and Fangirl Review
Ok everyone, Rainbow Rowell has officially stolen my heart. Eleanor & Park and Fangirl have both been on my To-Read list for awhile now. I started with Eleanor & Park and once I finished I knew I wanted to jump straight to another Rainbow Rowell novel. I love her pacing, her characters and the stories are just good. They definitely pull at your heart strings. My favorite thing about her is that she created two distinct stories, with unique characters. I could tell the style was still hers, but there really was no similarity between the stories. I was definitely happy about that.
Eleanor & Park - I can't even think back on this story without feeling a little emotional. Eleanor... I feel you, girl. Oh how I just wish that life was not so cruel for some people. Eleanor is a girl who does not fit in. Her mother is remarried to a man that hates her (and who might be abusive), her family is poor, and she is just an awkward teenager. Life is not good for this girl. One day she is forced to sit next to a young fella named Park. They realize, even though she is supremely uncool and weird, that maybe they might have some common interests. Park reads comic books on the bus next to Eleanor, and eventually starts loaning them to her. They begin to bond over these stories and Eleanor starts to see that maybe the world is not just the cruel place that she thought it was.
I loved this book. There are many times where I related so well to Eleanor and even sometimes to Park. I'm not going to reveal any spoilers, but you may not come out of this book feeling great about how life and the world works. It's a sad place for a lot of people and this was an amazing reminder that we really just need to treat everyone with respect and love because you never know the battles they are fighting.
Everyone should read this book.
Another great by Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl is a coming of age story centered around Cath, who is an internet famous fanfiction writer. Wren, Cath's twin sister, decides that when they go off to college they should live separately and try to figure out who they are. Cath reluctantly agrees, but does not realize what she is getting herself into. She's never been on her own, she has to learn to live with a new roommate, and she has to juggle her double life of fanfiction writing with college workload and a sick father.
While I am not in this age bracket anymore, I still remember feeling the same type of fear as Cath did. I related to her and the responsibility that she felt for absolutely everything in her life.
The voice of Rainbow Rowell shined through, but it was completely distinct from Eleanor & Park. I am so happy that the characters in this novel were older than high school age and took on totally different struggles that I rarely see in YA novels.
Both of these novels are masterfully done. I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of them and look forward to reading more novels by Rainbow Rowell. If these are not on your To-Read list, add them! If you have read them, let me know what you think.