Title: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Published by: St. Martin’s Press (Feb. 26, 2013)
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.
What I Thought
Eleanor & Park has been on my TBR since 2013, but it was just one of those books that I never got around to picking. Finally, I read, and I am so glad I did!
This novel was just so good! I instantly fell in love with Park and Eleanor and their story. It’s been a long time since I fell in love with a couple like I did with Eleanor and Park. They’re just so cute together! I loved how they bonded of music and comic books. All the characters in this book were very well-written and felt very real. The characters were diverse and unique. Some made my skin absolutely crawl (Richie), while others were just so wonderful (Park’s parents and grandparents).
Park’s family, in particular, really stood out to me. So many times in YA, the parents are absent. Park’s parents were actually there, and they were just so lovely. I really loved seeing such a positive portrayal of parents in YA. Both Park’s mom and dad deeply loved each and their family. I, personally, really loved his mom. She was strict on the outside, but it’s clear she truly loves her family and wants what is best for them.
Another thing I loved about this book was the writing. The writing was absolutely wonderful! Eleanor & Park was my first Rainbow Rowell novel, but I had read her short stories, Kindred Spirits and Midnights. So I knew a little bit about her writing style, but after reading a full novel from her, I think it’s safe to say that I am definitely a fan of hers! Her writing just flows so well; I never wanted to stop reading.
The ending was just so ahhh! I, personally, loved the way it ended. I’m avoiding spoilers, so I’ll just say I honestly think the ending was perfect.
The only thing I didn’t absolutely love about this novel was the language. There was quite a bit of foul language, as well as a few derogatory comments. They were spoken by negative characters, and I get that this book takes place in the ’80’s, so I do think it was written in a way that fit with the time period, but at the same time, was it really necessary?
Overall though, I loved this book! Eleanor & Park is a new favorite, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2017. I would recommend this book to anybody looking for an adorable (and a little bit heartbreaking) love story!