Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: February 26th, 2013
Pages: 325 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Won
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"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says. 
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers. 
"I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen." 
"What about Romeo and Juliet?" 
"Shallow, confused, then dead." 
''I love you," Park says. 
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers. 
"I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be." 

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Eleanor is a big girl who wears strange clothes and has flaming red hair. Park is the exact opposite of that, but you know what they say...opposites attract.  The two went from barely even acknowledging each other to bonding over music, comic books, and everything else inbetween.  Over the course of Eleanor & Park, the reader gets a glimpse of each of their lives, what makes them who they are, and shows you exactly why they're perfect each other.

This book grabbed me from the first moment I opened it, which is something that I wasn't expecting.  Needless to say, I finished the book in a little over a day and I already wish I could read it again.  I loved it all, from the writing to the realistic feel of the characters and the situations that each of them are thrown in.  Eleanor especially hit close to home, because she's one of the very few heavy girls in YA that I could see myself in.  There are too many stories that focus on looks, beauty, and perfection, that they all start to bleed together in my mind.  So right off of the bat, this is the first thing that caught my attention and undoubtedly, it's going to be one of the many things that I'm reminded of when I look at this book on my shelf.

Park is just a normal teenage boy, except he's part Asian, which is unusual where they live.  When everyone else, even his friends, are too busy picking on the "weird new girl", he's the only one who stands up for her.  Over the course of the book, we come to find that Park is a little different than most guys.  Though Eleanor has doubts about their relationship, he holds onto what they have and truly believes that they could be together forever.  Eleanor, on the other hand, is skeptical.  I loved and hated this, because I saw so much of myself in her, a girl who has been hurt too many times to believe that someone like Park would truly love her for who she is.

Eleanor & Park is sweet, romantic, heartbreaking and full of flashbacks from the 80's.  Sometimes you'll fall in love with the person you're least likely to suspect and if you're lucky, they'll become the love of your life.  Rainbow Rowell tells an incredibly realistic story that will fill you with emotion and tear you to pieces at the same time.


  1. I read so many spectacular reviews on this book...I feel like it's about time I spent my time and money on it! ;) Great review - I can't wait to experience this awesome-sounding book for myself!!

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  2. i reviewed this book this week also. i liked it, but didn't love it. i wasn't a fan of the ending.