Q: Looking back at the finished product, is there anything you'd change about Eleanor and Park?
A: No. I don't think so. Maybe a word here or there. There are a few of them...But my process is to think hard about my books when I'm writing them, and then to try and let them go. There are a few things I might change now that I've talked to hundreds of readers and I've seen how people respond to the book. But if I were to try to rewrite or revise the Eleanor and Park now, I'd ruin it.
(Interview with Rainbow Rowell in the back of Eleanor and Park collector's edition)
Rainbow Rowell casts a spell on her readers with her relatable character in Eleanor and Park. Eleanor, an average teenage girl full of spunk and personality, moves to a new school hoping that things would be different with her mother and step-father. She is instantly thrown into a reluctant friendship with a boy named Park whom she accidentally met on the school bus. On a road of unexpected events, Park ends up showing Eleanor what's worth fighting for, not only each other but also your own life.
CAUTION: the contents of this book are hot.
Rowell is a professional when it comes to playing the heartstrings. When I read this book, I instantly fell in love with Park. Granted he did come across rude when I first met him. But, Rowell easily soothes your fears about Park and redeems him through his quirky yet relatable personality. (This book is just so relatable!)
Eleanor is this realistic character that makes you wonder if she actually is composed of flesh and bones instead of sentences and paragraphs. But Rowell adds just enough spunk to Eleanor to create a memorable character. Even with all of Eleanor's difficulties in life, she becomes a fighter and an example in the literary world and (especially) in Park's life.
Now, the worst character would be the step-father, Richie. Definitely the Umbridge of Eleanor and park. He's the character that a reader see every day in (possibly) their lies or their friends lives. That makes Richie a ten times more hated character because he holds an evil inside of him that is common to our normal lives.
And then comes the mother who strives to be a good mother but is held back by Richie. (Hello Mr. Unwanted.) She's a relatable character, yet she still manages to make the reader upset. We find ourselves asking questions such as; how could you let your kids live with a monster like Richie? Or, how could you stand to live with a monster who treats you that way? But then you realize how sticky the situation really is. She loves Richie, she needs the house and food, she needs the money to support her kids and Richie provides all of this. So Rowell leaves us with a pity character. One we wish we could rescue.
Let's tie all these characters together and we get an emotion roller coaster that only heads up (Oh Augustus...) and for the better too. Rowell leaves us with a memorable ending and a mind/heart splitting one. It leaves you questioning and wondering. It's not your typical ride off into the sunset on a white horse. The ending is an unexpected change from your normal love novel, and it's a fresh air type of change. So, I will end it on that note. Go out, get the book or borrow that book (whichever). Read it and just remember...three words are all it takes to make a beautiful book.
"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."
~Eleanor and Park~
Hope you enjoy this fan art!
(I did not do these and I take no credit! I don't know the artists...so, please enjoy!)