Fangirl. eleanor & park. Rainbow Rowell.


It took a while to get stuck into this one but I read the second half in one gluttonous sitting.

Cath and Wren are identical twins. They have been two halves of one person their whole lives. When the girls go to University, Wren breaks away and Cath is bereft. She is forced, for the first time, to face the world alone.

Cath takes refuge in writing fan-fiction. She creates alternate stories based on the hit Simon Snow books written by the fictional; Gemma T. Leslie. Confused? Cath’s story is interspersed with excerpts from Gemma T. Leslie’s Simon Snow and Cath’s fan-fiction. I found it a little too busy but Rainbow Rowell has a way of making you care.

This is a story about learning to be an individual. It’s also about learning when to let people help you and when you just have to stand on your own two feet.

It fits well into the YA genre and should appeal to the Harry Potter generation. If I had read this one first I probably wouldn’t have bothered with ¬†eleanor & park so that was lucky.

eleanor & park.

Not since I sat up all night reading Adrian Mole have I identified so closely with a fictional character. At times I felt as though this book was written by me, or for me, or maybe to me. It helps, I suppose, that the action is set in 1986 and that the soundtrack will bring you right back there.

Park is asked, by his english teacher, why Romeo and Juliet has endured. He replies;

‘because people want to remember what it’s like to be young? And in love?’

That’s all you need to know.

I had to look back over this book today, to remind myself why I loved it, and that was a good thing.

My life, in 1986, was like Eleanor’s; chaotic, dysfunctional and, sometimes, scary. Husband was just like Park; kind, nice, normal. When I thought I was invisible, he saw me.

When you are having a week like this one, when the back door won’t close properly and the lightbulb in the fridge has blown and the toilet won’t flush and the car won’t start, and the dog has diarrhoea and the kids have nits and the frustration at the won’t-go-away-grief threatens to swallow you whole and you need to remember that the boy who came to your door and saved you before, from all this and worse, will do it again

if you just ask him,

if you can remember how.

Yup, that’s when you should read this book.