Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: February 2013
My Rating: ✹✹✹✹✹
“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.”
“It was the nicest thing she could imagine. It made her want to have his babies and give him both of her kidneys.”
Eleanor & Park has been on my TBR list for a very long time and last week, I finally got around to buying it. Finally. It was well worth the wait! I don’t have the words to describe how much I enjoyed this book, but I will try.
The book is written in third-person past tense, which is something I’m not really familiar with but enjoyed none the less. Rainbow Rowell has a real knack for tapping into the minds of teenagers and giving us a teenage experience. I’ve always believed that nobody should write for teens who doesn’t remember what it was like to be one. Rainbow Rowell remembers, and has captured it beautifully in this book. It’s a little spooky actually, how well she has portrayed it.
I feel like I really know both Eleanor and Park, and I love them both separately but I especially love them together. She captured their teenage naivety and insecurities perfectly. I wish I had read this book when I was a teenager so I would understand that I was not the only one to feel some of the things Eleanor and Park felt. It was wonderful to see them discover themselves, especially Park.
This book was both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time! I wasn’t expecting to care so much about these characters and their relationship but I was completely caught up in this story.
The ending though. WOW! I heard some negative things about the ending – I won’t spoil it – but wow, I loved how it ended. I especially like the little excerpt Rainbow added at the end, about the way she left the book. I respect and understand her decision for how she ended the book and couldn’t imagine a better way to end it. Bravo.
Overall, I loved this book–the characters, the romance, the writing and just the way everything unfolded so beautifully and felt so real. One of the best contemporary novels I’ve read in a while! The 5 stars I rated it are fully deserved!
About The Author:
Sometimes she writes about adults. Sometimes she writes about teenagers. But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love. When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.