Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Finished on September 7th of 2015
This book disappointed me so much. Such potential down the drain.
I was really excited to read this book, even though I’m not the biggest contemporary fan, because I saw many people give it 5 stars and saying it was an incredible book so I thought well, why not give it a try? The summary sounds interesting.
That is, until I read this article made by a girl who has inside knowledge about one of the subjects in this book, being Asian American like Park. From what she wrote I could understand how little to none research about Korean culture the author did while writing this book.
Another thing I read in the article and could see for myself was the fact that Park was such a cliché character. Of course he had to be a math nerd and felt like he was gay, just because he’s half Korean. He even thought that the fact that Eleanor wore man clothes and he liked it that must make him gay. But then he also said that Eleanor couldn’t look like a guy even if you shaved her hair and gave her a mustache…
He hated his Korean heritage and I felt like he resented his mother for that, both problems that never get solved. Eleanor just tells him she thinks he’s cute because he’s Asian and problem solved. Zero character development, in my opinion.
On to Eleanor, I get that this story is set in 1988, in a racist town, and I think it’s okay for Eleanor to be curious about Park’s Asian side but there were some quotes that were simply pointless, like when Eleanor wondered if the shape of Park’s eyes affected the way he saw the world. What is the point in this quote besides being racist?
Another thing that bothered me in Eleanor was the fact that she kept thinking about eating Park’s face, like he’s food below her in the food chain.
I sympathize with Eleanor’s home situation, it must be horrible having to live like that, and I guess the way book ended would have made me emotional if I could have been emotionally invested in the characters, which I was not.
Even though the begging really annoyed me I have to say that the last 100 pages got this book 2 stars instead of 1.
I’d also like to point out that this is my opinion and it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the book. And I would also like to ask you to please read the article I linked above.