Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars
"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under."
Sooo, I haven’t posted in a while. I have no excuse (I actually have many but honestly, they’re pathetic and I should be ashamed of neglecting this blog) but I am back (for real this time) and while I haven’t been reviewing, I have been reading, so I have some catching up to do. Anyhow, here’s my review of Eleanor & Park:
I’ve been dying to read this book since I first read about in a review a few months back (I don’t remember where or when exactly, but this book was definitely getting great feedback, and I noticed) and being the procrastinator I am, I of course put it off and then eventually forgot. However, I did finally end up purchasing a copy from amazon and after a few pages in, I couldn’t set the book, er, well my kindle (but same thing), down.
Eleanor & Park isn’t just about teenagers, nor is it just about romance, as it is so much more than one genre or topic. Rainbow Rowell’s tale intertwines first love, the anxiety and pressures of high school, and what it’s like to come from a broken family, and that’s only a few of the elements that really make this book wonderful.
Eleanor is more than simply eccentric. With her wild red hair and weird clothes, she definitely sticks out- but not in the way she’d like. She becomes somewhat of a target for bullies in her high school. Though, despite her troubles, she manages to slowly befriend a boy named Park, who, unwillingly, offered her a seat beside him on the bus during her first day. It’s not long before the two of them are sharing comic books and music, which awkwardly and slowly blooms into a very cute romance.
However, their romance is strained by Park’s family’s inability to accept Eleanor’s eccentricity and awkward habits, Eleanor’s toppling home situation, and both Park’s and Eleanor’s insecurities of themselves and each other. Even with the strain, they both work hard to overcome each obstacle that comes their way.
Overall: I strongly recommend this book because not only is it cute, but it also delves deep into what it’s really like to be young and in love, and how these emotions can persist through all of these obstacles. It touches on how, especially in high school but not exclusively so, people can judge one another solely on the exterior, on what they can see and touch, and how sometimes what we see isn’t the person at all, but rather the situations they’ve been placed in, by choices that they didn’t have any say in. Eleanor & Park takes you out of your own shoes, and places you in Eleanor and Park’s places, and really gives you a feel for who they are and what their lives are all about, and how they intersect and overlap, weaving a complicated, painful, but very enjoyable story.
Check out the Author:
I’m also looking forward to reading Rainbow Rowell’s book, Fangirl. Below is the cover, summary, and link (all from goodreads.)
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?