Teen Book Reviews: The Unhoneymooners and Eleanor & Park

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from someone who did just that. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. Reviewed by Caroline O.

Meet Olive, a nerdy science loving girl who is shy and awkward. Olive has a twin, Ami, and even though they are total opposites, they still have an unbreakable bond. That is, until it is broken. Olive has the worst luck and everything that can go wrong, goes wrong. On the other hand, Ami gets everything to somehow go her way and she may be the luckiest person on Earth. Any contest that Ami has ever entered in, she has won, so it is no surprise when Ami wins a free, non-refundable honeymoon trip to Hawaii. This luck seems to last up until her wedding day when everyone that ate out of the free, buffet style meal that she won, gets food poisoning. Everyone, that is, except for Olive, who has food allergies, and Ethan, who is a germophobe and refuses to eat out of buffets.

Ami and her husband suggest that Olive and Ethan go on the trip together, since it is non-refundable and the newlyweds are too sick to go. This sounds like a great plan, besides the fact that Ethan and Olive hate each other! Not to mention that these two would have to act as if they had just gotten married. Ethan is the groom’s brother, who can come off as being cocky and arrogant. This was exactly Olive’s first impression of him when they met at a family event awhile back. With Ami being the pushy older twin that she is, Olive and Ethan reluctantly board the plane. Bickering of course. The trip is going somewhat smoothly until Ethan realizes he may not hate Olive as much as he thought.

This book is an amazing read, especially during the summertime. The author does an exceptional job at using imagery and emotional appeal to drag the reader further and further into the book. Not to mention that the book never gets old, and is never boring. The book starts and ends with pure chaos, which is unlike a lot of books that I have ever read. I personally like how the Christina Lauren duo writes their books. In their pieces, they tend to write at least an excerpt from every single character in the book, whether it is a small character or a main character.

5 stars.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Reviewed by Caroline O.

Eleanor & Park is a phenomenal book that captures the life of two characters, Eleanor and Park. Eleanor is someone who is not as comfortable in her body as most of her sixteen year old peers at school. Eleanor also has an unstable home life with an abusive step-father and a mother that has no control. Eleanor’s family is quite large, including her four little siblings, three of which are biological siblings and one step-brother. This does not seem to be an issue except for the fact that they live in a 2 bedroom apartment, meaning that all of the kids have to share a bedroom with one bath. On the nights that Richie, the step-dad, gets extra abusive and wakes up the kids, with the excessive crashing of objects getting thrown outside their bedroom, Eleanor has to sit there and comfort every one of them. To escape her reality, Eleanor loves to read, but this only makes her an outcast at school. Will she ever find somewhere safe where she can be herself?

Park lives down the street from Eleanor which means that they are on the same bus, where he notices and later meets Eleanor. Park finds that he is actually quite similar to Eleanor. Despite the differences in home life, they are both misfits in their school and begin to bond over that. Park begins to look forward to talking with Eleanor on the bus until there is a period of time when Eleanor does not come to school. This raises Park’s curiosity and he asks his parents if they have ever heard of her family since they had to have lived near each other. Both his parents look at each other and tell him how her house is not necessarily the safest place. Park immediately puts the pieces together and is determined to find her. Through this journey he learns that he may like her more than just in a friend way.

I enjoyed this book a lot because of how quickly the audience can feel as if they are there and in the same room as the characters. The book also is not a hard read, I have found that certain books can be hard to get into for the first few chapters, but this book is different. I was able to enjoy the story very early on in the book and it was upsetting to learn that there was not a sequel to go along with it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a romance novel that will take you through all of the emotions including guilt, happiness, sadness, and curiosity.

4 stars.

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