Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review: Eleanor & Park

Eleanor and ParkAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin



It's 1986 and two star-crossed teens are 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. A cross between the iconic '80s movie Sixteen Candles and the classic coming-of-age novel looking for Alaska, Eleanor & Park is a brilliantly written young adult novel.

“The new girl took a deep breath and stepped farther down the aisle. Nobody would look at her. Park tried not to, but it was kind of a train wreck/eclipse situation.” – Finished Copy pg. 7

“That would be a giant understatement, anyway. She was the only person in class who’d read her poem like it wasn’t an assignment. She recited it like it was a living thing. Like something she was letting out. You couldn’t look away from her as long as she was talking. (Even more than Park’s usual not being able to look away from her.) When she was done, a lot of people clapped and Mr. Stessman hugged her. Which was totally against the Code of Conduct.” – Finished Copy pg. 38

“That afternoon, in history, Eleanor noticed that Park chewed on his pencil when he was thinking. And that the girl behind him – what’s her name, Kim, with the giant breasts and the orange Espirit bag – obviously had a crush on him.” – Finished Copy pg. 60

“That morning, in English, Park noticed that Eleanor’s hair came to a soft red point on the back of her neck.” – Finished Copy pg. 60

“Eleanor had an answer for everything – but she still managed to evade most of Park’s questions. She wouldn’t talk about her family or her house. She wouldn’t talk about anything that happened before she moved to the neighborhood or anything that happened after she got off of the bus.” – Finished Copy pg. 105

I do not even know where to begin with this book. Not because it is bad. But because I love it so much that I don’t know where to start. This book is the perfect romance and will leave you wanting more from all of the characters and the stories they have to tell you. This is a realistic look at the lives of teenagers and the emotions, issues, and other problems that they face at times. Eleanor is a plus size, red-haired, girl just trying to blend in with her environment and prefers to go unnoticed. Not to mention her home life is highly dysfunctional and I felt so sorry for her because of it. Then we have Park who seems like a normal teenage boy. Apathetic, emotional, and thinks life is harder than it actually is. Their lives connect when Eleanor moves to town, and they will never be the same again.

I love books that take me back to high school. Okay, I know you must be thinking, is this girl crazy? This book will take you back to high school in the best way possible. It will bring back fears you may have had, emotions you probably dealt with, and the rush of having your first crush all over again. I could really relate with the characters in this story, and honestly I think that any teenager would be able to. I loved the development of Eleanor and Park throughout this novel. I love that you don’t know everything about Park or Eleanor from the first page, but that you have to pay close attention and read further to learn all that you desire to know. I had many questions after the first few chapters, especially concerning Eleanor, but I was so glad that they unfolded the way they did.

This book and the message behind it is beautiful, romantic, and the most powerful thing I have read in such a long time. It kind of took me back to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but I would even venture in saying that I enjoyed this book more. The romance that Park and Eleanor shared is inspiring and completely emotional and heart-breaking at times. Sometimes while reading I saw both characters as odd or awkward, but that is the beauty of their characters. They are irrevocably flawed. Park threw out some amazing one-liners that would have had me crumbling to my knees. For example, “I’ll cross the sky for you.” How romantic and yet so subtle!

This book is a must read for everyone. Honestly if I could give this book ten pink cupcakes, there would be nothing keeping me from doing so!

***A HUGE thank you to the publishers at St. Martin’s Griffin for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***



  1. This one was wonderfully handled and written. I loved it taking place in the 80s, that was the coolest part. Along with the fact that the characters weren't typical or perfect. Great review! :)

  2. Rainbow Rowell is really a good author and I enjoy some of his good book