‘Eleanor & Park’ by Rainbow Rowell / A Book Review

Hey everyone!!

Took a tiny break this weekend due to being sick (sniffs) againn but hopefully this cold goes away as quick as the one that hit me in November xD Anyway, I finished the YA classic Eleanor and Park not too long ago so I really wanted to get a review out for you guys!

Let’s get into it 🙂

Eleanor & Park 

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A Quick Summary

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.” – Goodreads

Plot

The plot of this book was right up my alley and I knew this before I even bought it. Two teens who are wallflowers in their own ways and fall in love? Yes please!

I thought the story was well-paced overall. Sometimes it felt like the dialogue didn’t feel very high-schooler but maybe that’s because I haven’t been one – nor read YA in a bit xD But as I got further and further into the book (which is a little over 300 pages,) I started to get the feeling that every line I was reading felt really poetic or relatable.

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

I also liked how the story wasn’t an insta-love – it felt like Eleanor and Park’s feelings for each other progressed naturally which we don’t always get to see in the genre. Eleanor’s resistance near the middle of the book to let Park in and Park’s instance that he helps her or be close to her was really sweet considering the reader knows what Eleanor is going through.

Characters

“I want everyone to meet you. You’re my favorite person of all time.” 

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Park:

I thought Park was such a well fleshed out character. He loves comics and sucks at driving stick (not because he doesn’t know how – literally most relatable seen in the book to me lool) He’d rather be invisible to his classmates but can mess a guy up – as seen when he stands up for a certain someone. I loved the scenes with his parents (his little brother was a little annoying, as little brothers are) because his mom was adorable and his dad always somehow made me like him more every time he opened his mouth. I really loved especially how Park changes from start to finish. In my opinion, he changes the most out of the two and it’s for the better! The invisible boy who swears at strange girls and is embarrassed to be seen with one was not my idea of prince charming but seeing how he slowly ends up falling for her despite himself was bringing a grin to my face!

Eleanor:

Eleanor was a really sad character and all too relatable. While it mighta been on the other end of the scale, I went through high school worrying constantly I wasn’t a desirable weight and way too scrawny. Since, it always pains me to see a girl going through something similar. It was really hard to read about those girls in gym teasing her for no good reason at all. It’s a major reason I’m so against the book being banned because kids really should read a book or two in the POV of a girls who’s constantly in distress about her weight. Apart from that, I thought the twist near the end concerning Eleanor’s family and her bullying was really interestingI hadn’t been expecting it at all and it gave me chills! I thought her shyness when she’s getting makeovers from Park’s mom was so freaking adorable! Because it’s totally not her but she’s also way too scared to say ‘no thanks’ xD

Setting/Pop Culture:

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ALL THE 80’S BANDS!! I was so happy with the decade this book was set in because all the music mentioned in it was great! Every setting felt really relatable from the back of the bus drama to the kissing spot and the school steps. While I’m not super into comics, I really felt like Park and Eleanor’s little comic debates only made them feel all the more real! Rowell has such great attention to detail :p

Overall Rating?

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“I just meant that… I want to be the last person who ever kisses you, too…. That sounds bad, like a death threat or something. What I’m trying to say is, you’re it. This is it for me.” 

I gave this book a 5/5 stars on Goodreads! I had almoost been skeptical it wasn’t going to exceed my expectations when I started…but I’m so happy I kept reading! Eleanor and Park is a meaningful piece of work that every teen or young adult should read whether it’s to help them get through high school orr make them remember how it felt. It reminded me so much of my own boyfriend and I because when we first started hanging out, we’d take the school bus together on half days and share books and music back and forth. So a lot of these scenes felt like I’d lived them and I loved that!!

. . .

Well there’s my review for you guys!!

Have you read this awesome read by Rainbow Powell? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments down below!

Now, I’m gunna go pass out and will myself not to still have this cold come Christmas xD Goodnight all! ❤

-Mel xx

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4 thoughts on “‘Eleanor & Park’ by Rainbow Rowell / A Book Review

  1. I have nothing but love for Rainbow Rowell. She writes magnificent characters, and as a character driven reader, that is really important for me. This was not my favorite book of her’s, but it was still excellent. However, I really want to know what the postcard said. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m adding this one to my TBR, right now. I think I’d heard of it before, but don’t think I’d really heard much. It sounds really good. I’ve been wanting a good YA romance, since my last one was an insta-love dud that I couldn’t finish. This one though….
    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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