Welcome to our very own series! It’s called Notebook Sisters Approved (because we’re modest about our opinions like that).
Basically: we pick one thing out of a book or series that we approve of and talk about it! That thing, hopefully, breaks trends or is revolutionary to its genre or involves delicious food.
I feel awkward about saying “imperfect looks”. Who gets to decide what “perfect” is anyway? I feel awkward to accuse Eleanor and Park of being a book filled with “imperfect looking characters”. For once they felt perfect, because they weren’t society’s definition of drop-dead-gorgeous.
It bothers me, in YA books (I think the paranormal genre is the most guilty…and it’s understandable, since everyone is usually gods or aliens) most of the characters are “beautiful”. But they don’t realise it.
The girls spend a lot of time saying they’re ugly and too skinny/fat.
The boys spend a lot of time saying “Why is she going for me? I’m nothing special”, when apparently they look like supermodels.
I understand the insecurities. Being a teen is full of worry and comparison! (Actually, life is…)
But the punch line seems (in my opinion) to be: you only think you’re ugly, but you’re actually beautiful.
What happens when you actually are ugly?
Plenty of people in the world are too bony, too fat, their nose is too big, their eyes too close together. They smell. They have a big nose. Their ears stick out. They’re too hairy. They don’t pluck their eyebrows. Their feet are huge. Their teeth are messed up. Their eyes are sunken. They have two chins.
Eleanor describes herself as “fat”. She doesn’t fit into the regulated school uniform. She wears baggy men shirts from the op-shop/thrift-store.
Park is small. (Though Eleanor thinks he’s cute, and apparently so do a silent majority of the girls.) He’s not muscular or tall and he doesn’t “fit in”, because he’s half Korean in a school full of caucasian kids.
In literature, Eleanor and Park are both minorities.
I don’t think this book leads everyone to become happy and accepting of each other. Everyone doesn’t deals with their insecurities. There’s no rainbows at the end (daaang, everything BUT rainbows. I could have done some rainbows, okay?!).
There’s just the simple fact that: people don’t all look the same. This doesn’t make them ugly.
This make them people.
I love it when books represent “normal people”. Because, let’s face it, there’s a lot of us and we’d like the hope of someday facing a dragon. Or, you know, conquering a pizza parlour. Anything could happen.
Cait is boringly normal. Although she is quite short (5 foot 1, and therefore only 2 feet off being a Hobbit), which interesting. It’s very awkward when people ask “what year are you in at school” and telling them you’ve been graduated for 4 years, studied a childcare course, have written 12 books and are conquering the world. Life. Funny, isn’t it?