Eleanor & Park 31-35: You Look Like a Different Person

There are so many things going on in these chapters! The aftermath of Eleanor and Park’s first fight. Christmas. Park’s mom finally warming up to Eleanor. The first time Park wears eyeliner. Tongue-kissing on the bus!

Their fight could not have come at a worse time. With Christmas vacation, Eleanor can cut herself off completely. Park tries to reach out, but her siblings are no help. The whole Christmas section makes me want to cry—Ben and Maisie fighting over the fruit box, Eleanor feeling “cold with relief” (185) when she thinks Richie won’t give her a gift, and her mother’s insistence that everyone is having a good day. But Park’s mother’s reaction to seeing Eleanor and her family at the grocery store is what really gets me. She says, “Nobody gets enough…nobody gets what they need. When you always hungry, you get hungry in your head” (189) and I’m sobbing.

I spent a lot of time thinking about Park’s dad in chapter 35. Like Anna mentioned in a previous post, I’m not sure how I feel about him. He’s so good to Eleanor. Even though it’s awkward, he makes a point to tell Eleanor that she will always be invited to dinner. When he brings up Richie, he’s forthright about knowing what Richie’s like, but still delicate enough to not spook Eleanor. But then he absolutely loses it when he sees that Park is wearing eyeliner. It seems to come from love and wanting to protect Park, but his rigid ideals of masculinity aren’t doing Park any good.

Other Things

  • Nothing makes me panic like the thought of running out of reading material.
  • “I know, but like Little Richard? ‘Tutti Frutti?’”
  • Minnesota Uncle!
  • Who has pumpkin pie for Christmas? Is that a thing?
  • For me, one thing definitely in Park’s dad’s favor is his resemblance to Magnum P.I. Because I love Tom Selleck and that show. Every time Eleanor mentions the likeness, I hear the theme song in my head.

A Recommendation

Like Eleanor & Park, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley is narrated from dual perspectives. Ed and Lucy went on a date once, but it was bad—like Lucy broke Ed’s nose bad. Somehow, the night after the last day of high school, Ed, Lucy, and their friends go searching for Shadow, the elusive graffiti artist that Lucy’s obsessed with. Lucy is convinced that she and Shadow are kindred spirits, but what will happen when she finds out that Shadow is actually Ed? This book is electric with love and art and adventure.

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2 thoughts on “Eleanor & Park 31-35: You Look Like a Different Person

  1. Anna says:

    Ahh! You got the best chapters — they have two of my favorite lines in them. My first — and I’m glad you already brought up Tom Selleck — is after Park’s dad gives Eleanor a standing invite to hang out at their house: “Eleanor smiled, and he smiled back, and for a second he looked a lot more like Park than like Tom Selleck” (209). I just want to hug Eleanor so much in that moment. It’s definitely when I like Park’s dad the most.

    The second is during the make-over scene when Park tells Eleanor she looks like herself “with the volume turned up” (216). Seriously dyinggggg. It’s how I want to be complimented for dressing up and putting on make-up and paying attention to my hair.

  2. mclicious says:

    Park’s dad is my favorite character in the book, precisely because of everything you mentioned here.

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