Book review: Eleanor and Park

I have came across SO MANY raving reviews for this young adult title that was released last year, the most memorable though would be by John Green, author of “The Fault in Our Stars”:

“Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”

After reading such comments, I was resolute in getting my hands on a copy of the book despite knowing that it is a romance novel, a genre that rarely floats my boat. And as highly expected, it did turn out to be a very lovely read by author Rainbow Rowell, which I thought would be in time to recommend for this Valentine’s Day.

The protagonists of this novel are a pair of high school misfits Eleanor Douglas and Park Sheridan who fell in love while sitting beside each other on the school bus. Cliché as the set-up might sound, what makes this book truly enjoyable is how most of us could in some ways or another relate to the emotions and struggles that the characters experienced while growing up.
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Book review: One Day

Title: One Day
Author: David Nicholls

It has certainly been quite a while since I read any romantic novels, which is a genre I am not terribly passionate about. What caught my eye then was the movie poster for “One Day,” the film adaptation of the novel (shown above), which has this vintage wash and a heart-melting kiss that I decided to give the book a shot.

My verdict is a read that would be worth your time, evoking a complex concoction of mixed emotions which can be at times be hilarious but would leave you feeling warm, fuzzy and melancholic. Many reviews on Amazon compared it to the movie “When Harry Met Sally” but for me, the book does not share as much tear-jerking quality as the movie.

Written by David Nicholls, each chapter of “One Day” allows readers to annually check in with the protagonists, Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, on July 15 over a span of 20 years to take a sneak peek into how their lives have changed over the past year.

Reading through the book is like cruising through the life journeys of two best friends, whose paths barely cross each other after graduating from college. Yet as true friends discover, they grow separately but never really grow apart. Such emphasis on the value and strength of friendships transcending time and space described in the book sits well with me.

Just like Em and Dex at the start of the book, I am also at this crossroad, after graduating from college, staring at a muzzy and unknown future that lies ahead with a sense of trepidation and anticipation because at this moment, everything seems possible. As I rethink about my pre-workplace life, I realize that it is much easier to make new friends than to keep in good touch with my old ones. To remain true friends like Em and Dex for 20 years is quite a feat to reckon with.
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