I’m not emotionally cold, contrary to common belief ever since my Un-Valentine post. As a matter of fact, I have a love-hate relationship with romance novels. I sometimes get the same feeling when I read my horoscope, but that’s story for another day. Recently a fellow librarian introduced me to Rainbow Rowell’s acclaimed novel, Eleanor & Park and she said it’s a must-read. I did, and boy did it kill me. This is why:
1. Park is too perfect.
A young man with the sensibility to share good books and music, tenacity to deal with ambiguity in a romantic relationship, sensitivity to recognise and respect Eleanor’s situation, selflessness in helping Eleanor, not being afraid to be in touch with his emo side (eyeliner OMG GUSHING LYK A TEENAGER). On top of that, he loves his family, he is intelligent, and did I already mention the eyeliner? Admittedly, he has a little temper issues but who doesn’t at that age. A little temper with a territorial jealousy is really quite charming if you think about it. So, in all his perfection, Park just really put me off because I am not sure how I can deal with real life and the lack of such divine creatures after I finish the book.
2. I don’t actually want to be Eleanor.
You know the joke about how Harry Potter fans want to go to Hogwarts, Percy Jackson fans want to go to Camp Half Blood, and Hunger Games fans are … good? I don’t actually want to be Eleanor. Romance novels are seemingly written for women to vicariously live through the heroines and for readers to see themselves as the protagonists. Reading Eleanor & Park doesn’t incite that same feeling in me. Sure, to experience Park is potentially rewarding, I don’t think I want Eleanor’s life. I guess this is pretty much why I’m not suited for Romance novels.
3. The damsel in distress plot is overwrought.
‘Nuff said. And so is the I’m-so-plain-why-does-he-love-me question. Fortunately, Rainbow Rowell portrays this insecurity very naturally it didn’t come across as strange or out of place to me in this story. I guess that is the key to Rowell’s success and acclaim for Eleanor & Park.
4. I want to know what happens next.
I’m frankly torn between wanting a sequel, and letting the book go. Their story will go on outside of this tale, surely. I don’t mean it in the sense of fan fictions, but with the book ending on such a note, I know deep inside, the story doesn’t end there. No spoilers here, so I shall leave it as that.
5. I also just watched Begin Again and I
want need a mixed tape so bad now.
Therefore, I don’t think I want to read another Young Adult romance. And I sincerely apologise if you are shocked by the fact that the librarian penning this post is really an overgrown teenager.