Book Review: Rainbow Rowell – Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

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.

One day in Omaha, Nebraska circa 1986, an adorably awkward, overweight, shy girl gets on a school bus.. a cute Asian boy gives her a seat when other kids are giving her the cold shoulder and thus a blossoming friendship begins. Park wins Eleanor over with comic books and music. How could you not love a boy who brings you comics and cds every day?! In the book Eleanor gives her take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and I found the parallels between them to be quite fascinating. 2 young lovers torn apart by circumstance and family.

I enjoyed the subtle 80′s references (total nostalgia for me, I was a kid in the 80′s!), my emotions were all over the place with this book but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I actually feel a little bad that I didn’t absolutely adore this book.. the beginning half of the book I couldn’t put it down!! The second half was… very depressing. I hate Eleanor’s family.. I genuinely felt hatred and loathing for them which gives credit to Rainbow’s writing style. She doesn’t over-burden you with descriptions & facts, she lets you form your own opinions about the way the characters look, and the author has left the ending up to the readers interpretation.. The last 2 pages of the novel gave my heart wings, and I choose to believe the glass is half full. ;)

I really enjoyed the book over-all and gave it a 4.5 Cupcake rating. While this book is classified as Young-Adult, it is fun reading for any age. There is some light sexual tones so use discretion for young readers. Go ahead and pick up this book, I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Rainbow Rowell’s website
Eleanor & Park on Goodreads
Purchase this book on Amazon

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