Eleanor and Park: First Love at Its Finest

Genre: Teen, Contemporary

Page Count: 328 pages

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

I did this book for a reading vlog without knowing anything about it and that turned out to be a mistake. This book was a lot heavier than I anticipated. Trigger warnings for domestic violence and child abuse for those who want to read it.

Together, Eleanor and Park are excellent. They have witty dialogue full of 80’s references and general high school silliness. The two of them together made me nostalgic for high school with their cuteness.

That was definitely needed because the rest of the book was really dark.

From the start, Eleanor isn’t doing well. As the new kid in school, she is an easy target for bullies and has no friends to turn to (at least until Park). But her home life is even worse. After living off a neighbor’s couch for a year, Eleanor was finally allowed to move back into her mom’s house, where her mom and siblings live under the tyrannical rule of Ritchie, a violent and abusive alcoholic.

In Eleanor’s house, the feeling of danger and unease is always there, heightened by nightly fights between Ritchie and the mother and having no bathroom door. Eleanor only really feels safe in the house when Ritchie isn’t there.

Her escape becomes Park, the quiet boy on the bus who let her sit next to him and lets her read comic books over his shoulder. Slowly they develop a reluctant friendship which turns into love.

I really like Eleanor. I think she’s really smart and witty and very relatable. She’s insecure about her body and the abuse definitely took a toll on her emotional state. But in general, she’s just a normal teenager.

Park is a typical teenager as well. He’s frustratingly insecure and angsty, which makes him act like a jerk to Eleanor sometimes, especially in the beginning. But despite that, he’s usually a really nice guy who cares deeply for Eleanor. He’s pretty understanding about her home life and is patient with her, which I really like. He does a lot of things that he thinks are small, like lending Eleanor comics and making her mixtapes, but they mean the world to Eleanor, and it’s really sweet.

The only time I didn’t like him was when he found out someone was writing dirty messages on Eleanor’s textbook and he accused her of writing the messages herself. That was really out-of-character for him and was pretty horrible. Aside from that, though, he was nice. He was, in general, a normal, realistic teenage boy.

My biggest problem with the book was the ending. It wasn’t satisfying for me because it ends abruptly and I didn’t get enough closure about Eleanor’s family. It’s hinted at that they move out of the toxic house but it’s never confirmed. So because of that, it’s only 4 out of 5 stars, but still definitely worth reading.

You can get Eleanor and Park at your local bookstore today.

Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link, which means I get a small commission if you purchase this book through this link but at no additional cost to you. 50% of my affiliate earnings are donated to charity.

Read for a Better World Spotlight: Limitless

Genre: Anthology, Literature, Non-romance

Page Count: 337 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Purchase on Amazon

I like shining the spotlight on books that aim to make a better world and Limitless does just that. It is about tolerance, love, and hope with all the profits going to helping people rebuild their lives in the Middle East.  With recent events, it might be something we all need. Definitely worth checking out.

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Interview with Mark Calde, Author of Bascomville

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Get it on Amazon

Mark Calde is the author of Bascomville. You may remember it from his book spotlight and my review for Bascomville. Today, I am pleased to have him for an interview on Lover’s Quarrel. It’s been awesome working with him and I wish him the best in future endeavors and I hope we do get to see a sequel to Bascomville someday.

Tell us what Bascomville is about.

Bascomville is a literary romance that functions on several levels. It is the story of Max and Janice, who begin as childhood friends and gradually fall in love. It is the story of Max’s family and how he relates to them. And finally, it delves into the notion that, for better or worse, we each create our own special universe.

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3 Ways to Listen to Audiobooks for Free

Audiobooks are really great for when you want to read, but you’re working with your hands. Whether you’re doing the dishes, cooking dinner, or commuting, sometimes you’re not able to hold a book. Audiobooks are great for that. But they’re even better if they’re free. So here are 5 ways you can listen to audiobooks for free.

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Book Review: Grind by Edward Vukovic

51m7qvaf84l-_sx322_bo1204203200_Genre: Contemporary, Literature

Page Count: 391 pages

Average Goodreads Rating:4.2/5 stars

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Ziva has the ability to read fortunes in coffee grounds, passed down from her grandmother. She does it for her family and friends. But then Ziva uses her ‘gift’ for herself.

Throughout her life, her talent had been freely given to those desperate for a glimpse into destiny’s promise: love, loss, life and death, and everything else along the way.

 Ziva revels in the semiotic arts and their ability to bring joy and comfort to those she meets. But with the blessing of enlightenment comes the curse of knowing all that is toxic, harsh and flawed in the future. To tell or not to tell? When face-to-face with imploring eyes, begging to know what’s to come – are they sometimes better off not knowing?

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