Selective Collective, Young Adult

Selective Collective: Eleanor and Park – Round Table

One of our February books is Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. My thoughts: LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE deep breath LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE! More on this later. This week it’s my turn to host our Round Table Discussion.

eleanor and park

1) Both Eleanor and Park make mix tapes for each other, using songs that meant something to them or described how they felt about the other. If you were making a mix tape for someone you love, what songs would you include on it?

Tee – I decided to make a mix tape with music I grew up with. It’s mostly 80’s which means it is, like, totally rad, you guys. I’m serious (I don’t think I even used that word when it was cool too). I would totally dedicate these songs to my cute little hubby today

  1. Tenderness (General Public)- Hello, Weird Science end sequence.  Got to love it.
  2. You Make My Dreams Come True (Hall & Oates)- Dorky? Yes. But I sort of dig this song and my husband loves Hall & Oates. Really. It’s weird.
  3. The Two of Us (The Beatles)- They’re the best band ever and I love the words.
  4. Melt With You (Modern English)-Although I was totally scandalized by the fact that this song referenced s-e-x, I loved it. It reminds me of the ending to Valley Girl. Nicholas Cage and that blonde girl leaving the prom, smiling at each other in the back of the limo even though they both had really bad hair and her dress looked like my grandmother’s tablecloth.
  5. Ultraviolet (U2)- I just love the words. When we were dating we listened to this album on a constant loop.
  6. You’re My Best Friend (Queen)- I love Freddie Mercury almost as much as I love my husband.

*** If this were actually the 80’s I probably would have added some ballad by Debbie Gibson, or Belinda Carlisle or the Bangles, but I’ll hold off on that for now.

Brittany(I kept it short-ish because I can make mile-long mixes haha)

  1. Junk of the Heart (Happy) – The Kooks
  2. If She Wants Me – Belle and Sebastian
  3. You Are a Tourist – Death Cab for Cutie
  4. Don’t Worry Baby – The Beach Boys
  5. Got to Get You Into My Life – The Beatles
  6. One Sweet Love – Sara Bareilles
  7. Closer – The Fold
  8. New Letters – Company of Thieves
  9. The Light – Sara Bareilles
Sandie – My husband and I gave our wedding guests CDs with full liner notes as one of our favors, so I’m sharing part of that playlist, which contains songs that meant a lot to us during our five years of dating. Of course in the 12 years of marriage since then, we have dozens more songs to add!

  1. “At Last” — Etta James (our first dance)
  2. “Rainbow in the Sky” — Stevie Wonder
  3. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes — Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (“Deja Vu” was stuck in the tape deck of a car we took on one of our first road trips)
  4. “O Mio Babbino Caro” (one of my favorite arias)
  5. “Hearts and Bones” — Paul Simon (my husband loves this song)
  6. “Waters of March” — Tom Jobim and Elis Regina (Because even though we don’t know Portuguese we love this playful duet)
  7. “Until You Come Back to Me” — Aretha Franklin
  8. “Wedding Song” — Bulgarian National Women’s Chorus
  9. “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” — The best duet partners ever, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
  10. “As” — Stevie Wonder (the chorus is about loving someone always)
  11. “Our Love is Here to Stay” — Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald (my hubs loves standards)
  12. “My First, My Last, My Everything” — Barry White (this one is self explanatory!)
  1. I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany
  2. Kiss From A Rose – Seal
  3. Straight Up – Paula Abdul
  4. Somebody Who Loves Me – Whitney Houston
  5. Free Fallin – Tom Petty
  6. Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
  7. Slide – Goo Goo Dolls
  8. Sister Golden Hair – America

2) Eleanor comes from a dysfunctional family. How do you think this affects the way she deals with the bullying she is faced with when she starts her new school? Do you think it affects how she reacts to the bullying both initially and as time goes on?

Diana – The fact that Eleanor comes from a dysfunctional family definitely affects how she deals with the  bullying. The horrors that Eleanor has had to endure at home make her immune to the taunts and the ostracizing that goes on when she’s on the bus, but it also makes her tired of it. She doesn’t feel that it’s important to make everyone stop, the way that Park does.  She doesn’t even want him fighting over her.  So she has those conflicted emotions of wanting it to stop, but also feeling like it’s not worth it (or maybe she feels SHE’S not worth it). She feels that it doesn’t matter, even though it does.  Park is the one that helps her to see that it’s important to put an end to it.  So he stands up for her and makes the cruelty on the bus stop.

3) How do you see Park’s relationship with his parents affecting his relationship with Eleanor?

Brittany I think Park’s relationship with his parents definitely affected his relationship with Eleanor – They were not only kind enough to make her feel welcome in their home, but observant enough to see that she really needed a place to go as well. If Park’s parents hadn’t invited Eleanor to stay for dinner and let her spend most of her free time at the house, I don’t think there’s any way that Eleanor and Park could have had a relationship. Park’s house was the one place where Eleanor really started to relax and be herself and it was a safe haven for her to have, for once in her life.

Candice – Park’s relationship with his parents isn’t always perfect. He’s pretty close to his mom and really respects her, despite how she likes perfection in people’s appearances. But with his dad it’s kind of hit or miss. Park’s dad rides him hard about things, whether it’s his karate classes, his style of dressing or his driving skills. I think because of these traits of his parents, which affect his relationship with them, they affect his relationship with Eleanor. Due to his mom’s obvious initial distaste of Eleanor’s appearance, Park is embarrassed that she is not more perfect and presentable for his mom. But I think he then realizes that she is who she is and doesn’t want to be judgmental of her like his father is of him. I think Park’s parents’ relationship with each other also affects his relationship with Eleanor – Park’s dad fell in love with Park’s mom, a Korean (I think!) woman and brought her to the US, to a place where there is not a lot of ethnic diversity. I loved the idea that he was able to see beyond the differences in their appearance and fell in love, despite what others may have thought. I think eventually Park begins to emulate his dad and moves past Eleanor’s appearance and what others think of her, developing his own loving opinion of her and not letting others’ sway him.

4) Eleanor has a very, let’s say, unique way of dressing. Describe your favorite outfit you wore in the 80s that you now look back on and cringe.

Tee – I feel like i missed a lot of the really fun (ie: heinous) clothing from the 80’s because I went to a private school where the girls had to wear dresses or skirts every day and those items had to fall to the knee. Like, the middle of the kneecap. During the eighties. (Nevermind the fact that I wore a cheer uniform that barely covered my butt once a week. My other clothes had to be modest!). I was really into long skirts and oversized sweaters paired with fake pearls.  And I thought I looked awesome. Especially with the half a can of hairspray I used every morning.  I was really into Esprit then. I had this one outfit that had thick, bright stripes going vertically on the top and thinner ones on the bottom.

Daphne My memory is totally going, but I do remember a few outfits that I am ashamed to admit to.  One I particularly remember is two tanks, one yellow, one red, worn together, as well as two matching pairs of socks, one red, one yellow, scrunched together, of course, with shorts and my keds.  We were big into socks in the 80s.  This is a typical outfit for me.  I don’t know that it really reflects the 80s or if I’m just weird.   I also remember being really excited to get a Coca-Cola shirt.  Those were very popular when I was growing up.

Candice – I’m pretty sure I wore only cool things in the 80s. Such as this awesome Little House on the Prairie style dress.

lhp me

And I totally ROCKED the jellies.


Let’s not forget the plethora of sweater-vests and blouses that made me look like a modern 1980s young-adult. 3 going on 30, say what?! Oh! and LA Gear High Tops! Those were THE ACCESSORY to have if you were anybody. And I was somebody in the 80s, let me tell you.

Check out the other members of the Selective Collective and see what fun things they have going on!

12 thoughts on “Selective Collective: Eleanor and Park – Round Table”

  1. can I just say how perfect this book is and I am so happy we were able to make it a part of the SC? I still feel little tingles of love for it every time I think about E & P.


  2. What a fun roundtable, I love that more than one of us answered the questions, because it helped see more than one side to each question. Great questions; E&P would make a fabulous Book Club for any group whether they read YA regularly or not.


  3. These questions were so much fun!! I really loved seeing multiple answers. Maybe we should do this from now on!!
    I always love reading everyone’s responses. Eleanor & Park was such a great book to discuss – So many things to talk about and tugging at everyone’s heart strings for sure! We got some pretty great answers!!!


  4. These really were great questions. I especially enjoyed the playlists and will be eagerly going to youtube to look up songs I don’t know. I will start with Brittany’s because I never heard of a single song from that list, LOL.


  5. Aw Adorable pics! Glad you all enjoyed the book. Rainbow Rowell is such a find. I’m looking forward to finally diving into this book- especially since mixtapes are involved. Thanks for sharing your playlists too 🙂


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