- This is more than a YA novel.
- Thank you for this realistic ending.
First loves and first heartbreaks are a common YA topic. So why even bother writing yet another story where two seemingly very different characters fall in love? Because that is real life – maybe not highschool life but definitely after that. Who here didn’t end up with someone they would’ve probably never dated in high school?
But Rainbow Rowell takes it even further. She created a story around two characters whose lives are complicated and out of their control. They face difficulties most of us, luckily, never have to face. As an adult (well I am at least the age of an adult), I could relate to many of her protagonists in one way or another, which Rowell accomplished through her simple, yet powerful writing. I particularly enjoyed reading every-day dialogues and phrasings as anyone of us would talk. One big problem I have with YA novels is that they often try to hard, injecting words that no common teenager (or adult for that matter) would use. There are other genres where language will shine. In my opinion, YA fiction is meant to tackle important coming of age topics and highlight the struggles every teenager goes through and Rowell really has a knack for that.
I also applaud Rowell for leading the reader to a realistic ending. Yes, of course, I desperately wanted Eleanor and Park to end up together and make it work besides their family situations. Yet I also know that’s fantasy and not real life. Sometimes, love is simply not enough. A lesson most of us have learned the hard way and I appreciate when writers don’t shy away to tell the harsh truth. This was my first Rainbow Rowell book but I am sure I will come back and read her other novels hoping to see more of her witty humor, her sensitive but poignant dialogues and her aptitude to draw me into the worlds of her protagonists while all along finding parts of me in her fictional characters.