Eleanor & Park.
This book made the top of the Young Adult Fiction list in the GoodReads 2013 Choice Awards. I am not a regular reader of YA Fiction but, for the most part, was pleasantly surprised by the story. The audiobook version of this book was well done and well suited to the ping-pong narrative as the story bounced back and forth between Park & Eleanor.
I almost quit the book at the very start due to the amount of profanity but decided I would let the first CD play through and decide. I am glad I did. I wish the f-bomb was not so prevalent in order that I might recommend it to young readers. They will probably read it anyway, just not on my recommendation. I am sure YA authors are just trying to be “real” but then seem surprised that there are parents who object to the language or sexual content in a book. What is interesting about this book is that it takes a stand against such language and actually portrays Park as a very sensible young man when it comes to teen sex — but the content is still there. Content that makes parents wince.
This book hit the ‘censored book lists’ when some parents objected to some school librarians putting it on the “recommended summer reading” list at a Texas high school. As much as I hate censorship I also understand the concerns of parents who objected to this book being “recommended reading” at their kids’ school. The parents were not asking that the book be banned from bookshelves in bookstores or not allow to be published but that the language in the book is inappropriate to be recommended to teens by their school.
You don’t think so? Then why could this book not be read on TV or NPR without being ‘censored’? Where is the outrage? I think it is hypocritical that we cry ‘censorship!’ when a book is not considered appropriate for teens but don’t blink when the same content is be censored on TV or Radio.
Book InfoEleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Mid-Columbia Library
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this 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.
Rainbow Rowell is the author of ATTACHMENTS, ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL. When she's not writing, she's obsessing over other people's made-up characters, planning Disney World trips, and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.