Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Number of Pages: 325

Genre: YA Contemporary

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Discussion: My god. This book. Somehow, destiny maybe, it found its way into my hands, and as I turned each page, I fell even more in love. In love with what? The pages, the words, the plot, the characters, everything. It all seemed to speak to me in a way too real for words to describe.

I knew what Eleanor and Park were feeling, and not because of Rowell. I know the feeling of spending time together, in your own little bubble, and then having to go separate ways. I know. This book, this story, once in my hands, consumed me, went inside of me.

Afterword? Major book hangover.

It brought back so many memories I’ve been trying to push down deeper and forget, resurfacing them, shoving them in my face and saying, “Here. Remember?” This book was so painful to read. But it brought me joy.

I’m not actually totally sure if I should post this. It’s a bit…personal. And I know people personally, IRL, who are reading this. Too late now, I suppose, if you’re reading this. Which you are. I do ask one thing of you. Please don’t ask questions. Even if I will see you tomorrow or whenever, please don’t ask questions.

Now that we’re past the personal part, I get to be silly and free and myself.

ROWELL. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS SUCH A HEAVY BOOK? I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT.

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And I’m not talking about the weight. [Isn’t that pug so adorable?!] The stepdad stuff?

a) Plain scary

b) Why didn’t the mom call the police???

c) At the end…OMG. Just warning you, kind of a weird part near-ish the end.

And the music! I love how that brings them together (and comic books). Music is such an awesome way for people to connect. I seem to be reading about music a lot lately… [Remember Where She Went?]

I found the characters so realistic and loveable. Eleanor is the greatest. So down-to-earth and real. And she doesn’t let her family life mess her up. [I really hate it when bullies use “problems at home” as excuses. Even if you have a bad home situation, you don’t have the right to be mean to people!] Park. He reminds me somewhat of Leo from Stagirl. In love with a girl who’s different from everyone else, and has a hard time trying not to be embarrassed of her.

But I love-love-love-loved this book with aaaaall my heart. It was so sweet, and totally realistic. And even though it’s set in 1986, I didn’t feel the time difference; it could have just happened in 2014. Even though I’m reading The Darkest Minds [by Alexandra Bracken], I might reread Eleanor and Park, kind of as therapy. And I just want to hug it!

This is so perfect!!!

{end book review}

So I’m reading The Darkest Minds as soon as I reread Eleanor and Park. With sticky notes.

I’m leaving Nakoma until the weekend. Chapter Twenty-three might be a while; sorry.

Have you read Eleanor and Park? What did you think? And if not, will you now? Tell me in the comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I have book hangover too. I had one after Fangirl, after Eleanor & Park, after finishing Siege and Storm and not having Ruin and Rising (that’s now, actually. It ripped out my soul).
    The stepdad…*shudders*. He SCARED me. I spent the entire book being scared of him!
    Music is awesome like that. I have made many friends through music.
    Eleanor & Park rocked. So did your review. AND THAT BOOK MAN HUGGING I LOVE HIM.

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