Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 74 of Feminist Joys: Reading Rainbow Lowell's 'Eleanor and Park'

Eleanor and Park is the most wonderful romance I've ever read. As a romance, it's better than Romeo and Juliet (hahahaha) (though it offers the best deconstruction of Romeo and Juliet that I've ever read, through 16-year-old protagonist Eleanor), better than Pride and Prejudice, better than anything I've ever read or seen.

This is a young adult book. I wish someone would write a story like this for adults but I've never found one (and I've just read Rainbow Lowell's Landline, which was good, but not the same at all.)

16 year old is brilliant and weird and feminist. She's the new girl at school, and is either ignored or picked on. She has a very difficult home life, four younger siblings, red hair, and no friends. She is fat and very smart.

But many romance heroines have smart, interesting heroines. The heroes, on the other hand, are rarely nice. (Minor spoilers below.)

But Park is probably the nicest 16 year old ever. He is somewhat geeky, even though he's sort-of friends with the most popular kids. He's always polite to his parents -- the only way he defies them is when he starts wearing eyeliner and continue to see Eleanor, which makes me like him even more.

They are the cutest adorablest couple, but other people aren't so nice, and there is plenty of angst and conflict too.

Read it, read it, read it. Tell me what you think.

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