Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

4.5/5 Stars
Published by St. Martin's Press
Published April 12, 2012

Synopsis: Two misfits. One Extraordinary love. This story is set over the course of one school year and tells us the tale of two star-crossed sixteen year olds. Both of them smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

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. 

This book was absolute PERFECTION. Eleanor and Park features one of my favorite love stories because it wasn't your average everyday love story. The story is set in the 1980's, which made it fun to read in the sense that the fashion, the technology, and the lifestyle were different. What I liked the most about this story was that the main protagonists were so different from the stereotypical 'perfect' character. Eleanor was not stick thin and blonde with blue eyes. Instead, she had wild red hair and she was curvy. Eleanor had a crazy fashion sense, sticking to her own sense of individuality. She truly was a unique character and added a great sense of diversity to the ever growing list of female leads. Also, Park was half Korean, which you didn't see very often during the 80s. Rainbow Rowell was able to address the issues of racism and being 'different' by showing how those characters were affected --- especially during this specific time period.

The characters in this book had so much depth that they felt so real on the page. The romance between Eleanor and Park was exactly what you would expect a first love to be. It was awkward and quirky, but it was so pure. This book can be relatable to everyone because it deals with first loves and everyone has either had or will have their first love. It was so sad going into the book knowing that it wasn't going to work out, but it had me grinning like an idiot because they tried so hard to make it happen. It really surprised me how much the two of them were able to click together; it was like seeing two puzzle pieces finally find each other. You could feel the intensity of the emotions between them like it was oozing off of the pages.

Besides the beautiful, blossoming romance between Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell was able to address really important issues like abuse and sex. The way she went about both of these subjects was so powerful that I found myself constantly tearing up. Her wording of the different situations made you want to cheer for the characters and hope that things would end smoothly. The love between Eleanor and Park is much more complex than you would expect from two sixteen year olds, but being able to share in the development of their love was surreal.

This is a beautifully written book by Rainbow Rowell. It was heartwarming as well as heartbreaking, and had an ending that had me clutching my pillow for dear life. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to dabble in a bit of cheeky, young love romance.

Rainbow Rowell

1 comment :

  1. This book is indeed heartbreaking, I actually hope that Rainbow will write a sequel for this one :( lovely review!