Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell | Book Review

5:50 PM
Pages: 328 hardback
Publication date: February 26th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
How I got the copy: Bought 
Rating:  4 out of 5


Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

... 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.


I've had this book on my shelf for a solid year and only read it now. I picked this up after I read Rainbow Rowell's Attachments, which I really enjoyed, but I kept thinking I wouldn't like Eleanor & Park as much as a everyone was hyping about it. I don't know why, I just thought I wouldn't but it was actually super cute. 

The only thing I kept hearing about this book was about how cute it was, nothing else. I think there's so much more in this book other than it was pretty cute, I already admitted that. First off, if I knew this book was set in 1986, I wouldn't have put off this book for so long. The story was funny with old school phrases like "I'm going with ___ " instead of "I'm dating ___ ", how music was such a huge part of this book and they listened to music on records and that the story focuses around family/friend and intimate relationships and not only about around Eleanor & Parks relationship.

A few things that bothered me throughout the story were how Park was embarrassed of Eleanor even after they started dating. How shitty is that? It annoyed me so much. Park, I know is in high school along with Eleanor, both trying to find themselves but I felt that since they were openly dating in school that it made no sense that Park was embarrassed of her.

From the beginning the reader knows the story is doomed. The opening page, which starts the book off tells you that Park is still looking for Eleanor, which obviously means they weren't together anymore. It's a sad story from the start and throughout the whole book I'm waiting for the moment it happens. For the moment that breaks their relationship. I wait until the end of the book. 

Another mystery that I kept looking for throughout the book was why the relationship between Eleanor and the step-father was so intense and terrible. At first, I assumed he sexually assaulted her but nothing was ever brought up. The only thing told really is how he just hated her. I wanted to know why. I wanted to know why the mother was so weak, when she wasn't before. Their were questions I wanted to know and that Eleanor knew the answers to but nothing was said. Knowing the inside story of Eleanor's life would have been something I would have liked, coming from her perspective.

All in all, this book was an enjoyable book and I definitely recommend this for readers who love a cute contemporary. 


Thanks for reading!

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