Review: Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

eleanor and park cover

SYNOPSIS: 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. – via Goodreads

GRADE 9I would like to thank and cuss out Abbi of Where The Wild Things Are in equal measure for recommending this book. Let me tell you, from those first few pages, Eleanor & Park took over my whole darn life. I consumed this novel. I loved it and I hated it and I wish it never ended. It was truly a thing of beauty. I really wish that I had the words to describe how this book was. I found myself smiling and giggling like a little girl at times, and so quickly that mood could be crushed and soured. And just as you think the world is the nastiest place ever, Rowell picks it all up again and makes things right. This really was one of the most amazing books I have read in a long time. I don’t know when last I read a book that took over every waking minute, where I could not think further than getting my hands on it and reading, where I lay in bed at night, itching to read more but knowing I had to rest for work, and getting to the office and putting everything on hold until I could finish it. I did. I blew through the book, not only because it is a fast read, but because it demands to tell the story, to be heard. Eleanor & Park was thrilling and beautiful, painful and inspiring, everything all at once. I am crushed but not, depressed but happy… it’s like I want to read this book over and over again so I can commit every single detail to memory. Obviously I am a fan. This book spoke to many things I understood, many things that people deal with daily and hide. I appreciated it. I thoroughly enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s writing style, and I loved how she told the story. It draws you in from the opening pages, basically, and keeps you there all the way. I am gushing I know, but this book speaks of so many issues, and this feeling settles in your chest – anticipation, excitement. Butterflies. Like love. Exactly like that. This will remind you of youth, in all its fantastical glory and seemingly endless misery. It reminded me of what it was to be sixteen and be in impossible situations and seeing no way out of it, every problem being massive and insurmountable, yet having your whole life ahead of you but the inability to see it as such. I enjoyed the characters of the book quite a bit. Granted, the supporting characters were not as in depth or layered as Eleanor or Park, but they definitely contributed to what was going on. I was fascinated to read about Park’s conflicted feelings, how he had to make peace with himself about Eleanor as a whole, screw what everyone else thought, and it was a lovely thing to see how Eleanor no longer completely despised herself or her life. Their confusion at first love but determination to be together was amazing. I was grinning like a total goofball at the beginning of the book, and I found my facial state returning to that more often than not. They were both just adorable, and a bit like misfits. If you were ever a little different in life, something here is bound to make sense and resonate. I  wish I had the words to do this book justice, to share how amazing and awesome it is, to get everyone to understand the brilliance, to understand how much I loved it.

stitch crying

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29 thoughts on “Review: Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

  1. Abbi says:

    I am so glad that you enjoyed this book as much as I did. I think its power to transport you to a different stage of your life, even if like me your first love was almost twenty years ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jsackmom says:

    I’m looking forward to reading this book and have put it on my Goodreads list. I think this one I’ll need to savor and devour in paperback it sounds like a keeper. 😊

    Like

  3. Tom says:

    Damn, this I need to add to the list. You’ve got many a fine book review up on this site but very few I can remember are as glowing and exciting as this one. I trust your opinion deeply, so I’ll make some moves to get to this ASAP! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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