Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Talk about being swept off one’s feet, this book certainly has done that to me. All the accolades about this book are truly well-deserved.

From the get-go, you are drawn into the world of Eleanor & Park. You might not have lived the same teenhood or in the same country or faced the same situations. But the universal ache of first love, of wanting to be loved, of being young and lost is something, I believe, all of us can identify with.

Rowell‘s narrative shows off so well the inner dilemmas and the outer peer pressures that this pair of young lovers face. It makes me remember those feelings of uncertainty in a new blossoming relationship, that fear of loss and the ramblings of a teenage brain. It was all at once wonderful and terrifying. Her writing presents these intense feelings in a real and raw way but it’s not mushy or sickly-sweet. The way the chapters alternate between Eleanor’s point of view and Park’s is brilliant.

I like how the characters around Eleanor & Park are just as imperfect as they are. I also really enjoy how they exchange music and reading materials. Oh, and the sitting by the phone, waiting for THAT phone call… such memories… the days before digital music formats, the internet and mobiles.

The ending is just perfect… yes, like everyone else who has read the book, I am ever so curious about those three words but I understand why Rowell won’t tell anyone, not even her mother, what those three words are. Maybe even Rowell doesn’t know. Those words belong to Eleanor & Park and we need to respect that. We can all enjoy some time fantasising about what those three words might be and how Eleanor & Park go on.

Just a word of caution, I will repeat what is stated on the back of the book: Not suitable for younger readers. Because the story touches on bullying, abuse and suicidial thoughts.

Hope you will find some time to indulge in another world through the fabulous books.

Happy Reading!
syc

Book Review: A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

I bought this book on a friend’s recommendation and she was so right to recommend this book to me. I really liked it.

I love how magic is portrayed in the story. It is not just a tool to make things happen, it comes from somewhere deep inside of you, it requires that you give of yourself in some way, not just this mysterious force that only some can have or control.

Felicity Juniper Pickle and her quirky family sparkle into my mind as I read about them and their lives. Felicity collects words. She wants so much to stay in Midnight Gulch, where her Mama’s family is from but Mama has a wandering heart. She has been told there was magic in Midnight Gulch. She finds out that somehow she and her family have a strong link to this magic. But can this magic help keep them in Midnight Gulch and allow Felicity to, at last, lay down roots and make friends?

I enjoy how the history of the town is so linked to its people and how family plays such an important role in all their lives. Natalie Lloyd‘s writing is so easy to read that you forget you are reading; it feels like someone is actually telling you the story. Her characters are wonderfully colourful and full of heart. Felicity’s word collection is so interesting and includes amazing words such as “spindiddly”, a tongue-satisfyingly made-up word.

I won’t give away the ending but I do want to say that this book highlights the need to cherish the words we say to each other.

This book deserves every award it has received and it has quite a few! I hope you will add this book to your TBR list.

Happy Reading!

syc

Book Review: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

I did not pick up this book at a bookstore. A friend had finished reading it and passed it on to me saying, “I think you will enjoy this book.”, and she was so right. I did like it very much.

This book is essentially a record of Albom‘s conversations with Morrie, his old college professor in the last few months of Morrie‘s life, as he was dying of a terrible disease. Sounds depressing? I thought so too before I started reading this. It is anything but. It is such a life-affirming read.

Morrie was Albom‘s favourite professor but life took over after college and he never kept in touch, only by chance did he see a news story on Nightline and found out that his old beloved professor was dying. He went to see Morrie. He thought it would be the last chance to simply say goodbye but Albom got so much more than that.

Interspersed throughout the conversations are flashbacks to Albom‘s college years and the times spent with Morrie when he was healthy and a dancer. These backstory moments give context to the conversations with a dying man.

They talked about lots of things; marriage, fear of aging, the world, regrets, money, family, culture, love, emotions, feeling sorry for yourself, death, the perfect day, forgiveness, and finally goodbye. In every conversation, Morrie passes on his little pearls of wisdom, not in a patronising “I-know-more-than-you” way or in a “I-am-dying-listen-to-me” way but in a loving “I-want-the-best-for-you” kinda way.

“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

“Love each other or perish.”

“Learn to detach.”

“I am every age, up to my own… …How can I be envious of where you are – when I’ve been there myself?”

“But giving to other people is what makes me feel alive… …Do the kinds of things that come from the heart.”

“I believe in being fully present.”

“…when we are infants, we need others to survive… …when you get like me, you need others to survive… …But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well.”

“Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.”

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

These are some of the things which struck me as I read the book. Throughout the book, you see Albom‘s perspective on life, his career and relationships change. It’s a wonderful thing to have a great teacher and that was what Morrie was, to the very end.

I hope you would be interested to learn from Morrie and find out more about the above statements which I pulled out of the book.

Happy Reading!

syc