Book Club: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

So for our book club sunday discussion, we picked Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park, a young adult coming of age romance set in the 1980's.  This book had very good reviews and this made us curious enough to read it.  And after many, many Sundays of being postponed we were able to finally seat down and discuss what we thought about it.

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

Book Club  Review:

Me:  I found this book surprising.  I was expecting the requisite teenage angst and a sweet and cute fluffy romance set in the 1980's which probably meant great music and weird fashion.  The only thing I got right was the music and the fashion.  Eleanor and Park was a good romance with an almost Romeo and Juliet feel to it without the dying part.  But it was also so very dark that even though it wasn't angst in the usual way,  it was definitely not the lighthearted romance we might have expected as readers. The characters were great,  the secondary characters as well.  But the open ending, that was one thing the not many readers would like.  I give it ♨♨♨♨.

Nina:  It was a cute bus romance with very dark undertones.  It sort of captured the grainy angst better than most young adult contemporary books I read so far.  The angst was like a gaping canyon in the cuteness of the bus romance.  I like how their [Eleanor & Park's] actions told things clearly before their minds wrapped on it. And the author really liked to boggle our minds about those three mysterious words. For all i know it could be, "See you soon"!  We all want to say it was, "I love you", Park kept saying it and Eleanor just froze up.  It was a good enough book,  young love, teenage angst, the unique oddballs pair angle.   The only downer for me were the darker parts.  My rating is ♨♨♨♨.

Rachie:  It was a cute romance but the angst almost made me give it up.  I was expecting fluff but it was darker than that. The last three words, I'm confused whether it could be "I miss you" or "I love you" or it could have been "See you soon".  It took me ages to finish this book.  I give it a ♨♨♨ 1/2

Rush: My only thing was I struggled to read this. Maybe I was hoping for fluff and the angst didn't do it for me?  And I hate open endings .  This was a ♨♨♨