Thursday, March 3, 2016

Eleanor by Jason Gurley

Title: Eleanor
Author: Jason Gurley
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: January 12, 2016
Source: Blogging for Books

I had to put this book down when I first started it.  Was it because it was bad?  No, no not at all.  It is because I had read so many emotionally hard hitting books in a row that I couldn't do another one.  It would have just messed with me too badly.

I did pick it up after reading something else much less serious.  And it was a good call.  By doing that I was able to fully enjoy this book for what it is - a book that is going to hit you hard in  your emotional gut.

This book is kind of hard to explain.  It is mostly about Eleanor.  Eleanor lost her twin sister Esmeralda in a very tragic car accident when they were about 6 years old.  The loss of Esme destroyed Eleanor's family.  Her mom became her an alcoholic who resented Eleanor for being the twin that lived and her dad left.

Weird stuff starts happening to Eleanor.  She walks through doorways and ends up in strange places.  She disappears for varying spans of time -  a day, a couple of days, years...

However, this book really isn't all about Eleanor.  It is also about her family.  I would love to be able to get into that a bit more, but I think that would lead to spoilers, and I don't want to do that to you.

When you read this, you need to be ready to have a lot of feelings.  There are some really intense scenes that are going to hit you very hard.  You will not have trouble imagining them, and they are not going to be pretty.  There are also a lot of hard topics touched on in this story - abuse, alcoholism, death, etc.  Jason Gurley does not hold back.

Eleanor is a fictional story, but it is also magical realism.  That being said, you need to be ready for some weird.  The weird won't necessarily make much sense in the beginning, but stick with it!  You will be so happy you did.  It will all make sense eventually.  Also be ready for it to leave you thinking hard and long once you are done.  I am still pondering over bits and pieces of this story days after finishing it.

Also, some people like to classify this as a young adult novel.  While this book does have a teenager as its main character, I wouldn't classify it as that personally.  At best, this would be for older, mature teens with the way that it is told and the subject matter.  And for those wondering, while there really isn't much in the way of sexual content, there is some swearing and nudity.

This is a beautiful, gut wrenching read.  I don't recommend reading it after a string of other hard hitting emotional reads.  It may just cause you to unravel completely.

My Rating
4.5 Stars

This review is based on a copy provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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