Friday, June 27, 2014

Discussion: Eleanor & Park

I adored this book.  It captured the adolescent awkwardness so well and I feel like how teens in the 80s existed was pretty spot on too.  But, I'm not on expert on that. ;P For a YA 'love' story, I was a big fan.

1. Eleanor says she and Park are too young for true love. Do you believe that? Do you think Eleanor believes that?

I think Eleanor doesn't think that anything good can happen to her and does anything necessary to protect herself.

2. How do Eleanor and Park's parents shape their outlook on relationships and the future?

3. Why does Park's mother change her mind about Eleanor?

4. How is Park's relationship with his mother different from his relationship with his father? Who sees Park more clearly, his father or his mother?

5. Why is Park embarrassed by Eleanor? Is his embarrassment a betrayal?

6. Steve says that he's Park's friend—is he a true friend? Are Steve and Tina good guys or bad guys in the story? Do you think Eleanor and Tina could ever be friends?

I think if they had started off differently, Eleanor and Tina could be friends.  I think when Tina realized what Eleanor's life was like, not unsimiliar to her own situation, I'd guess that she turned into a semi-decent person.  Steve and Tina both had kind of a good heart, in the sense that they recognized a shitty situation and would help, but they are teenagers. ;P  I also feel like the people you grow up with, will always be your friends regardless of time, distance or fights, you just connect in a special way. 

7. Is Eleanor's mother a good mother? Why does she stay with Richie?

8. How would Eleanor and Park's relationship be different in 2013? How would cell phones, digital music, and Internet access change their situation?

9. What is the importance of music in Park's life? And how is it different for Eleanor?

10. Was Eleanor right to run away? Should she have left her brothers and sister behind? Was there more she could have done to help them?

In her position, I don't think there was going to be a 100 percent perfect ending and she knew that.  She couldn't risk taking the younger kids because the chances of getting caught or brought back would make things so much worse, but she knew that Richie wouldn't put up too much of a fuss if she just left and she knew her mom would accept it and probably be relieved but Eleanor was a teenage girl with no options.  I feel like the way it ended meant that mom got the guys to leave with the kids, but she was probably on her way to the next train wreck of a guy. 

What did you think of the book? Have you read any other books by Rainbow Rowell? Thanks for participating!

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