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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The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

11870085

Author: John Green

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF RIVER SONG, “SPOILERS!”

This is the first book I’ve ever read about John Green. I have seen his quotes and watched his videos and seen this exquisite fanbase and told myself, “hey, I gotta see what the fuss is about.” which was my akin to Harry Potter when, even in the beginning of its days, was something everyone seemed to love.While John Green is no JK Rowling (and how could he be, no one is a JK Rowling), he is an amazing author of his own.

Meet Hazel. She’s a cancer survivor. Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at the age of 13, she was prepared to die. A year later at age 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs, and she survived. Not to say she’s cured, far from it even, but it prolonged her life.

Now at age sixteen, Hazel is still breathing, tethered to an oxygen tank and entirely sick of how her life is being lead, never knowing how much time she has and how she is, to quote, “I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to 160 over 488 blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”

Until one day at Cancer Support Group, she meets Augustus Waters. They hit it off. They try to make the best of the days they have left. They fall in love. But all good things come to an end. Let me just say this.

Sometimes things find you when you need them to find you, I believe that. And for Hazel, it was Augustus.

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