A Tale of Woe

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell had been lingering on my to-read list for way too long and I finally obtained a copy from our library two days ago! This popular fictional novel is the story of two high school students who “fall in love”.

The book cover bills this as a tale of two misfits who are attracted to each other, but my impression was more of the girl Eleanor being a misfit more than Park, the boy. Park is Amer-Asian and apparently feels like an outcast, but Eleanor comes from a poverty stricken home where her stepfather is an abusive creep.

The plot of Romeo and Juliet frequently came to mind while I read this story which, by the way, is a Young Adult (readers age 12-18) novel. That really threw me for a loop because the graphic nature of many parts of this text made me shudder to think this may be what passes as young adult reading nowadays. This is steamy stuff! Graphic language and sexual actions depicted in detail made me relieved there where no illustrations.

I may be a middle-age woman living in the past who, while painfully aware that contemporary kids live in a much different world than that in which I was raised, but my inner moral sense cried out “Enough”! This is not a terrible book, but it is most certainly not one I’d recommend for “young adults”. How I wish we could bring back the classics by Austin, Dickens, Shakespeare, and Bronte I read in high school. The themes were similar; the smut absent or implied. I got the drift without having it graphically depicted and that still suits me just fine!

About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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