Another round of Teen Book Club at the Library by Brittney Uecker

After a rousing round of discussion for our winter book, Teen Book Club is back again with another exciting pick: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Sign-ups will begin February 11, and we will meet on March 11 at 4 pm to discuss the book.

Set in Middle America in the 1980’s, this story alternates between the perspectives of high schoolers Eleanor Douglas and Park Sheridan. These two teenagers have been dealt a boatload of hardships, resulting in difficult home lives and a miserable existence at school. In their own ways, both Eleanor and Park are outsiders looking in, wishing with envy that they could experience the same contentment and ease as their peers. When they find themselves seated together on the bus, a connection organically starts to form. As Eleanor and Park bond over music, comics, and eventually their common emotional struggles, their friendship grows into more than just romance, but an infatuation and dependence on each other that is teeming with all the overwhelming feelings of a first love.

Not only does this story thoughtfully deal with relevant issues such as addiction, race, and gender expression, Rowell broaches these topics in a validating and relatable voice. This story is also peppered with satisfying nods to music – everything from Black Flag and Dead Kennedys, to Bryan Adams and U2 – and pop culture that smoothly place the time period. Eleanor & Park realistically and artfully captures the emotional intensity of growing up and navigating the tumultuous waters of high school relationships.     

If you have any questions, call 538-5212 or see Brittney Uecker at the youth desk.

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