Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

15745753Title: Eleanor & Park
Series:
Standalone
Author:
Rainbow Rowell
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 5

Goodreads

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

MY REVIEW

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

1986. The Space Shuttle Columbia is launched. Voyager 2 makes its first encounter with Uranus. Eleanor, an overweight redhead steps onto a school bus and sits next to Park Sheridan.

Park is a half Korean boy who lives a fairly nice life, with two loving parents and doesn’t know what its like to go to bed hungry or share his bedroom. Eleanor Douglas shares her room with her three brothers and younger sister, living in a highly dysfunctional family in a small, run down home with no bathroom door.

While these two may live within walking distance of another, they come from different words. From the moment Eleanor stepped on the school bus for the first time, she was already an outsider, with her flaming red hair and odd thrift store clothes. When no one offers her a seat, Park angrily tells her to sit down next to him, and proceeds to ignore her for the duration of the trip. For days and weeks, the two ignores each’s existence despite sitting six inches from one another to and fro. One day, Park catches her reading his comics over his shoulder, and begins to lend her his comics. They bond over music, with Park making mixtapes for Eleanor to listen to. Eventually, they even begin holding hands on the bus.

That’s whats so great about this novel – there isn’t some insta-love between the characters that you find in your typical high school romance novels. These flawed characters are very much opposites and over time, develop an reluctant friendship that eventually leads to love. And even then, everything is not all lovey-dovey and cutesy, and the two fight and argue a lot and kiss and makeup, just like almost any other teenage couple.

Overall, I liked this, even if it didn’t have more plot than two teenagers falling in love despite all their differences and the world trying to keep them apart. If you’re looking for a realistic romance of high school and first love, look no further.

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Day 7: We Go Together | Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon

 

It’s the last day of the 2013 Summer Lovin’ Read-a-Thon. I can’t believe it’s already over. This week, like the rest of my summer, has gone by so fast. I’m glad I signed up, it’s been tons of fun and I got to talk to some cool new people who share a love of reading. To me, that’s great, especially since I live in a small town where this is conversation when someone finds me reading.

“Is that for school?”

“No. I like to read.”

“….. why?”

Sigh, they just don’t get it. Anyway, moving on.

Today’s topic is Graduation Day:

List your accomplishments, big and small.
Did you make some new friends? Call them out.

Read-a-Thon goals:

Going Under: COMPLETED

The Fetch: 20%

Reckoning: 10%

okay, I didn’t finish those goals. I ended up reading other books because I just wasn’t feeling The Fetch or Reckoning just then, so my unofficial goals.

Truly, Madly, Deadly: COMPLETED

Lola & the Boy Next Door: 60%

At least I got two, almost three books done. That’s not too bad. I may end up finishing Lola if I get my butt off the computer and go read before all my shows start later, because then I will be useless.

I also got to chat with some really awesome bloggers yesterday on Twitter, such as:

Libby @ Libby’s Fun Books

Francine @ Bookworm and Boots

Michelle @ Unraveling Books

Stephanie @ Love. Life. Read.

Jess @ Such A Novel Idea

Well, that’s it! I had a great week and hope to enter something like this again soon! xx

The Summer Lovin’ Read-a-Thon is hosted by Reviewing Wonderland.

Day 6: Hound Dogs | Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon

Hey guys! I think today’s participation post is gonna be one of my favorite, listing those those bad boys that make your heart go pitter patter. I might have to eventually narrow mine down, as I have a thing for bad boys so this post could get pretty lengthy. In no specific order… 

Jace Herondale

C’mon, badass shadowhunter, hiding heaven knows how many weapons in his tight leather get up? Not to mention, I am a sucker for blond british guys, and sarcasm and wit. He’s got it all. Jace is the son of Stephen and Celine Herondale, and has angel blood in him from Valentine feeding it to his mother. Presumably, Celine commited suicide and Valentine took the child from her womb shortly after. After faking his and his real son’s death, Valentine took off with both Jonathan and Jace and raised them separately, while taking the identity of Michael Wayland. Valentine was both loving and cruel, and when Jace was ten, Valentine staged his death as Michael Wayland, convincing everyone his real father had died just them. Jace then spent the next several years in the New York Institute living with the Lightwoods. (The Mortal Instruments).

Will Herondale

Will Herondale was born in a welsh family consisting of a shadowhunter father who had left the Clave after falling in love with a munsdane. When Will was twelve, he unintentionally released a demon from a pyxis and when his older sister Ella came running, the demon attacked her and cursed Will that anyone who loved him would die. The next morning, his sister Ella was dead. He ran to the London Institute to keep his family safe. Ugh, Will’s so angsty and broken, how can you not love him? He’s guarded, because of the curse he’s cruel at times to everyone and keeps everyone at a distance but his best friend, who is already condemned to die an early death to a demon disease. (The Infernal Devices).

Adrian Ivashkov

Adrian is a royal Moroi and the great nephew of Queen Tatiana. He has the element of Spirit and to keep him from going insane from the darkness spirit causes, he often drinks and smokes as a way to cope. He’s always full of witty lines and is capable of walking into others dreams, a gift he often used to talk to Rose Hathaway in her dreams, and more recently, Sydney Sage. He’s arrogant, cocky, and occasionally annoying to those around him, but incredibly funny. He is the ultimate book boyfriend. (Vampire Academy & Bloodlines series)

Daemon Black

Daemon is a Lux, a race of alien that consists of light. His human form is drool-worthy. He has a twin brother, Dawson, who was missing for quite some time, and a sister, Dee. Not much is known about his past, and there’s only a handful of Lux on the planet. He’s sarcastic, and often cruel, but most of it is a guard to protecting his sister. He’s fiercely protective of people he loves. Daemon has grown on me throughout the series. I was put off a bit by his attitude, but he has since won me over with his loyalty and protectiveness (The Lux series).

Okay, I think I’ll end it here or I’ll be going on all day. Honorable mentions include Tobias Eaton/Four from the Divergent series, Dorian from Dark Swan series, and Adam from Before I Die by Jenny Downham.

Gah, why can’t these guys exist in real life. It’d be painful, but at least I’d have something to look at while I’m torturing myself over what I can’t have, right?

The Summer Lovin’ Read-a-Thon is hosted by Reviewing Wonderland. Head on over to Read-a-Thon Central and sign up!

Day 5: Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On | Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon

Today’s topic of discussion is:

Share your progress – How many books have you read so far? Have you gotten off track? What are your plans for the rest of the read-a-thon?

Read-a-thon goals:

Going Under: COMPLETED

The Fetch: 20%

Reckoning:10%

Honestly, I’m having a hard time getting into both of them, hence little advancement with either of them. I think I’m in another reading slump and neither of them are interesting me at the moment.

The Summer Lovin’ Read-a-Thon is hosted by Reviewing Wonderland. Head on over to Read-a-Thon Central and sign up!

Day 4: Tears On My Pillow | Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon

Today’s Summer Lovin’ Read-a-Thon topic involves sharing the feels of a book that really pulled on your heartstrings. Since I imagine people will go with one of John Green’s books, I’ll go with Before I Die by Jenny Downham.

I remember reading this book a few years ago on Kindle, where I stayed up til 6 in the morning sobbing uncontrollably over this book. Sixteen year old Tessa has battled leukemia for the past four years. Instead of prolonging her treatment, she comes up with sort of a bucket list and resigns to live whats left of her life in a way she’ll remember, not sick and unable to move and hooked up on tubes.

Tessa’s list contains many of the things teens are curious about, especially those that exact a heavy price – such as sex, drugs, and criminal behavior. And why not? She doesn’t have to live with any repercussions. I’m sure there’s a load of things we’d do if we knew there would be no consequences and no chance of surviving the year. We discover Tessa’s list as she experiences them, and as she gets sicker, the list changes. Her initial desires for wild teen transgressions are replaced by simpler things, such as the company of those she loves.

Along the way, she falls in love with her neighbor, something she had initially forgo-ed, thinking it would be impossible. Tessa’s final days aren’t pretty; the last few pages of the novel are filled with the grief and panic of her family as she’s slowly rattling out her last few breaths, getting thinner, unable to move or go to the bathroom, or even talk.

“Adam strokes my head, my face, he kisses my tears.
We are blessed.
Let them all go.
The sound of a bird flying low across the garden. Then nothing. Nothing. A cloud passes. Nothing again. Light falls through the window, falls onto me, into me.
Moments.
All gathering towards this one.”

There’s little revelations of an afterlife, and as she goes, Tessa dreams of surviving, of meeting her best friends baby and being with Adam. Ugh, starting to get emotional just typing this.

It’s a great novel, and has stayed with me throughout the years. There’s even a movie based on the novel called Now Is Good. I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for some Ben & Jerrys and a cryfest.

The Summer Lovin’ Read-a-Thon is hosted by Reviewing Wonderland. Head on over to Read-a-Thon Central and sign up!

Read-a-Thon goals:

Going Under: COMPLETED

The Fetch: 10%

Reckoning: 10%

 

Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee || Summer Lovin’ 2013

Today, Summer Lovin’ers are to introduce each other to their favorite fictional female. 

If you know me really well, you know that I oft use Game of Thrones quotes in typical conversation (YOU KNOW NOTHING, JON SNOW). And you’d also know, that I love Daenerys Targaryen. Today, we’re talking about the Mother of Dragons.

Daenerys is played flawlessly by Emilia Clarke in the television adaption show of Game of Thrones.

What I love about her is that in the beginning of the book, she is this meek, quiet little girl, whose only family is a brother who abuses her constantly. Despite the fact she was born a princess, her family’s throne was taken when she was a baby, with her and her brother being the only Targayren’s who knowingly escaped.

In the beginning of A Game of Thrones, she is sold off against her will to a warlord, a khal named Drogo of the Dothraki. As his queen, a khalessi, she begins to develop into this strong young woman over the course of the first book. At one point, she is pregnant with the khal’s son, and her brother puts a sword to her belly to threaten her husband to keep his end of the bargain that he striked when he sold Dany. Daenerys watches as her brother has molten gold poured over his head, killing him, and utters, “Fire cannot kill a dragon.”

Near the end of the book, her husband is dying, her son is dead, and Daenerys takes the slaves and lets them have the option of staying with her and fighting for her, or leaving and being free men. She wears to them that anyone who would harm them would die. With that, she walks into his funeral pyre. She burns his body on the pyre along with Mirri Maz Duur (a maegi she used to bring Drogo back to life by sacrificing her unborn child) and enters the flames with her petrified dragon eggs she was gifted at her wedding. The flames magically trade life for life, killing the maegi and hatching the three dragons while leaving Daenerys unharmed.

Over the reign of the books, Daenerys dragons grow along with her as a character. She “sells” one of her dragons, the only three in the world, for an army, and then has that dragon kill the slaveholder of the army, and lets her army of Unsullied save a slavers city. Daenerys, once a slave herself in a sense, sets slaves free. She develops over the course of the books from this tiny, meek little princess into a strong, capable woman with dragons and an army at her side. “All men must die, but we are not men.”

I can go on and on about Daenerys, but I’ll end it at this. She really is one of my favorite characters in a series that depicts women as the strong ones in a world that caters only to men.

Must-Have Summer Reads || Summer Lovin’ 2013

Today’s participation post at the Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon we are discussing must have summer reads. Some of these picks aren’t exactly summer related, but hey, a good book is a good book, right? These are the picks I could read over and over again.

The Lux Series, by Jennifer Armentrout

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The hot alien living next door marked me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
17453983

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

The Unseen Series, by Richie Tankersley Cusick
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Out walking alone one rainy night, Lucy becomes convinced that someone – or something – is following her. Spooked, she ducks into a cemetery to try and lose her stalker. Panicking in the darkness, she slips and stumbles into an open grave – only to discover she is not alone in there. She manages to escape, but soon begins having terrifying visions and dreams – and she still can’t shake the feeling of an unseen presence, always watching, waiting… Who was the girl in the grave? And what did she do to Lucy?

I admit, I was going to add some Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare books, but it seems like those are among the most popular YA books out now and these are lesser known gems. Well, except for Anna.

What are your favorite summer reads? I am always looking for more books to add to my ever growing TBR pile.

The Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon is hosted by Reviewing Wonderland. If you want to participate just head on over to Read-a-Thon Central and sign up!

Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon: Day 1 || Class Orientation

Hi, howdy, hello, and greetings! Luckily, I’m right on time with today’s post, since I have about an hour left of today where I am. Excuse my lateness, as I’ve just gotten home from The Big Apple after an intense… well, intensive at NYU and I’ve spent the majority of the night unpacking and getting my Teen Wolf on.

Anyway, today is the first day of the Summer Lovin’ Read-A-Thon hosted by Reviewing Wonderland.Not signed up? Time’s a-wasting, you’ve got until July 6th to get to it, and sooner is always better, and you may win some fabulous prizes. Head on over to Read-a-Thon Central and sign up today!

First up for the read-a-thon is to introduce ourselves.

388224_10150504489647788_267811310_nI go by a plethora of names. Anna, Lily, or my personal favorite – “Merida,” given to me by someone who relentlessly teases me for my sometimes-red (natural) hair.  I am a book whore and I suffer from compulsive book buying. I have three floor-to-ceiling book cases, they’re already completely full and double stacked. Anyway, let’s get started!

1.) Where are you blogging from?

I am blogging from a small town right outside of the horrifyingly boring Montgomery, Alabama. Everybody knows everybody and their business, and everybody loves their sweet tea and their football. Me being the obvious exception, of course. About the football, not the tea. The only semi-cool thing about Wetumpka is that it’s built in a crater impact from a kagillion years ago. The bad thing? A little water falls from the sky and it’s suddenly Noah’s Ark out here in the bottom of this basin. If you’ve ever seen the movie Big Fish, a ton of the scenes were shot here.

2.) Why did you start blogging/reading?

I’ve always liked to read, even as a kid. Even my fourth grade teacher commented once that my middle name must be Library, considering I visited more than any other kid in my grade at the time. Every year I’d rack up the most Accelerated Reader points and win a cheap medal or something. I had read all the books within my reading level and by the time 8th grade rolled around, there was a serious lack of books in my middle school library I hadn’t already read in the previous years. It’s always been that way for me. I was able to zone off on class and leave this world for the one I was reading. I didn’t have many friends growing up and my siblings did their own things and these characters in books were there for me. I lost myself in the written words.

I started this blog mainly to showcase my writing, and with some nudging from Emma, I started reviewing the books I read at the end of last year.

3.) What is your favorite genre?

As I’m sure you can tell from my archives page, my favorite genre is mostly within the confines of the Young Adult category. I generally prefer this category due to the lack of horny characters going at it like gorillas every chapter that I seemed to always find whenever I picked up a novel that wasn’t categorized at YA. However, I’ve been venturing into New Adult every once in a while. But if I find the plot summary appealing, I’ll more than likely read it, no matter the genre. Give me paranormal, contemporary, historical, romance, thriller, sci-fi, I will read it if it seems appealing.

Goal for Summer Lovin’ Read-a-Thon

I want to try and finish my current read, and try and read a couple more books before the weeks end. It probably won’t be easy, considering it is Independence Day this week (for us  American’s, anyway). So even with that going on, here are some books I really want to get to this week. Click on the picture to go to the goodreads page for each novel.

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Going Under is my current read, though I haven’t delved much into it.

Aaaand, that’s about it. Wish me luck! Hope you all have a great week x

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 29

Image

One thing you’re excited for.

I don’t know. I would’ve said I’d be excited about leaving this lame college and finally graduating, if I wasn’t having to WAIT another year because they screwed me over. Gah. The only thing I’m even semi-excited for really is for my shows to return and be able to read Clockwork Angel and the other books coming out this year. Oh, and summertime and City of Bones movie!

You know how there’s old superstitions that cooking black eyed peas on New Years day will bring good luck, or something like that? Jeez, if this year’s been my good luck, I’d be terrified to see what bad luck would look like.

Please please please, just let me have a good year.

And let me see Imagine Dragons in concert.

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