Hello Internet. Welcome back for Review #37. Yeah, I know, I’ve done one from this author already, but I read this over the holidays and decided I shouldn’t have missed this one. So, here it is.
Every regret I have about my choice of reading Fangirl before I read Eleanor and Park is coming flooding back to me as I sit before my notepad and plot out whatever the hell it is I’m supposed to write before I tap away at my keyboard to put thoughts to digital paper. All of the wonderfully painful moments as the two protagonists fall deeply in love tug at my blackened, rusty heartstrings. All of the sweet moments which threaten to pull me to tears as I see the relationship between them strengthen [and then eventually dissolve]. Not since the [funeral of Augustus Waters] in TFIOS have I ever had to put a book down to ensure tears do not stain the page as I grasp for a nearby packet of pretentious Christmas tissues. And never, ever have I screamed and threatened to tear a book in half thanks to a single sentence.
Because fuck the conventions of proper narrative endings. The traditional ways of leaving an audience satisfied and happy to depart a romance novel thanks to the fact they have proper closure can go and shove telephone poles up their rectums with extreme prejudice. And everything I admire about this author’s ability to weave a beautiful, poetic story is going to toss itself into a pit full of paedophiles dressed as an eight-year-old boy because I was not only wrong but misleading and completely, utterly naïve to think that any author would be perfect enough to do this book’s ending justice.
<<Be sure to take a deep breath, Jester. In through your nose, out through your mouth. No, not like that you dirty… Oh, never mind.>>
Right, before I go on an author hunt with my torch and pitchfork, let me explain my actions to you. Eleanor and Park is one of those novels you need to sit down with, read up until the last chapter, and then lend to your friend in Alaska so you don’t tempt yourself to ruin the book by finishing it. Because it’s a better love story than Fangirl, a more poignant drama than TFIOS and just better in every way than Never Always Sometimes. Yeah, Alsaid, you know deep down yours isn’t up to scratch.
Eleanor and Park is a story about two young teenagers in the eighties who happen to fall in love. And there isn’t much more I can tell you without letting you discover the book on your own. But I can say that all the characters are three-dimensional and in high-definition. I can say that the relationships between these characters are ridiculously well-thought out, and that serious repercussions between characters because of plot (because in Narrative Writing 101, pain equals character development) have nigh-physical impacts on the readers lives. So yeah, I am a fangirl, and I was crushed by the feels. But if you do choose to read this book, let me give you a heads-up. Read it all, from the start, but stop before the last page. If you choose to continue, then sure. But it’s your fault. And remember internet; nothing ever ends.
Eleanor and Park was published in 2013 by St. Martin’s Press. It can be found on Amazon here.
Yours: J.M. Pear