Book Review: Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

15745753   17322949

By Rainbow Rowell

328 pgs

Publishing Info: On February 26th, 2013 by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: YA contemporary, romance

Book Summary: Eleanor: She doesn’t fit in but she finds her seat in a school bus full of strangers next to Park. Park: He’s not exactly like the other kids either. But when they’re together, they’re absolutely awkward, adorable, and dorky… Awkdorkable. It’s a story of growing friendships and just being sixteen.

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

What was great or meh about the book?

I’m going to start off again by saying that this book is really genuine. And I really can’t believe that I’ve never read this book before. Now normally I’m not a super romance Fangirl but this book was different because it made you feel a lot more and you grow Attatchments to the characters; Rainbow Rowell just makes it hard for you to Carry On. (OK fine, upon request I’ll stop the book title puns… S: Yes Faith, thanks)

This book feels really genuine. We’ve established that. From the emotions to the music that goes with it, it’s like a peephole into the awkdorable lives of the two misfits Eleanor and Park. (S: Isn’t it Adorkable? F: Well I guess it can be “awkdorkable”… awkward, adorable, and dorky. That’s basically all of it right there.)

The characters just felt really real and honest. I wouldn’t know anything like this story to take place in reality at my school or really anywhere else near me but if it did in an alternate reality, this might just be it. It just didn’t seem all that realistic, slightly impossible, but then here is Rainbow Rowell introducing me to all the possiblities.

Whenever they spoke, I felt as if I was constantly hanging on to the ends of their words, waiting for what’s next. Any reader would probably feel the same; like an intruder. Like those words aren’t meant for your own ears but you’re eavesdropping anyways because it’s making you feel… something(S: Wow. Sounds creepy 😉 F: IKR… That sounds so creepy. Maybe because it is…?). Literally all the feels.

If you really wanted to get into someone’s head, stories written first person usually helps you to be the characters’ shoes more and helps to capture their personality and real thoughts. You could know each of their thoughts and feelings about things. But the way Rainbow Rowell tells her stories and weaves these characters into the pages (being dramatic because come on, it is a feel-y book), you don’t even realize that the characters aren’t even directly relaying their lives to you because you feel as if you’re already with them.

I loved the way the book transitioned from character to character as you spied on their lives and even though this story takes place in 1986, you don’t feel like it’s pounded into you like an unstoppable drum beat at a parade day. It’s just as relate-able besides the fact that you might want to search up what a Walkman is (or hey, ask your parents if you’re curious and you really have no clue) or some of the songs mentioned. (And when I did listen to one of them, I heard Eleanor and Park’s voices commenting on it and listening at the same time as me… weird or nah?)

Okay so there were tiny bits of personal meh points here and there. To be honest, though I really like YA contemporary, most contain some type of romance. Which is totally fine. But I usually am not one for a super duper jam-packed with mainly romance type of book person (which I’ve already mentioned).

Now you’re here sitting like: “Then why on the squiggles of Earth did you pick up Eleanor & Park and why are you totally gushing about it way too hard and Fangirl-ing?” Good question, my friend. I’m not really sure either but from what I gather is that I just was really curious about this book. I wasn’t actually in the mood to read it a year ago. Then I just kept hearing about it and it won a Goodreads award too so I thought: “Wow, there must be something about this book that’s worth a read.” Then just like Fangirl, I couldn’t stop reading for some reason.

Anyways, I liked this a lot as you can tell. But sometimes I felt like I wanted a bit of a break from all the Eleanor and Park which everyone would respond with horror because they’re the best when they’re together. Though I liked their moments, sometimes with their scenes one after another, it got a bit much and I wanted to see a more in-depth story to their home lives (which it already is written about but I just wanted something… more). It was pretty easy to look over though and it’s probably only me!

So Fangirl was great but this, this was amazing. (S: Now I really have to read this. F: I mean like I said a million times [so much so that people are greatly annoyed], there was more romance than my regular book intake but I still somehow enjoyed it. Something I still can’t seem to put my finger on. I think it’s the story-telling aspect.)

Rating: 4.5/5

This is the book review for today! I hope you’re all having a lovely week and that you perhaps enjoy reading my little blabber for the day? I would also love to hear what you all have to say about Eleanor & Park so if you want, tell me about it! See you soon 😀

~ Faith

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