I haven’t posted in a while because of school work, but I’ve been reading as much as I could in my free time and I finally got around to Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I heard about the book a while ago – mostly good things – but I’m always hesitant to read an author I’m not familiar with. What finally made me buy it was that I saw a collector’s edition sitting all alone on a shelf at Barnes and Noble, so naturally, I picked it up, not wanting to miss a chance at owning a book with such beautiful cover art. That being said, I regret nothing!
Told in alternating points of view, Eleanor & Park is a story about two 16 year olds who meet on the school bus on the first day of school. The story is set in Omaha, Nebraska in the late 80’s and is filled with great musical references.This book is one of the most interesting stories I’ve read in a very long time. It’s cute and funny with such great characters, I couldn’t put it down. I really like the structure of the book; it is written from both Eleanor and Park’s perspective, which isn’t something that’s easy to do without disturbing the flow of a story, but Rowell makes it seem as natural as breathing.
Eleanor is such well developed character. She isn’t shallow or unrelatable. Although her home life is complete crap and her only real solace is Park, she is still just a typical teenage girl. She has all the gushy feelings girls have when they get their first crush, and all of the fears. One thing that sticks out about her is how she seems to fixate on Park so completely. At one point she says he is so cute she wants to eat his face, which I thought was hilarious because it’s definitely something I would’ve said when I was 16.Overall, Eleanor is just trying to survive her awful stepfather, and the horrors of being the new girl in a town where everyone already knows their place.
Park is my favorite character because for one his name is Park. His family is the opposite of Eleanor’s, which makes for a great contrast in the way the two characters interact with each other. Park is a hopeless romantic due to being brought up by parents who are completely in love with each other. He even says that the one thing that made him feel better when he woke up scared at night was knowing how much his parents loved each other. I think that is such a beautiful thing for someone to say, especially a 16 year old boy because let’s be real, how many teenage boys do you know who would actually admit that? I know zero, but I digress. My favorite thing about Park is probably how much he cares about Eleanor. He wants to be her protector and even though she is cynical and sarcastic she melts right into him because she knows he is truly genuine.
I dont want to give too much away for those who haven’t read the book, but I give it 5 stars and I hope to God that there will be a sequel. I also wouldn’t be opposed to a movie. I would definitely recommend reading this book, it was worth every second.
For more information on Eleanor & Park or Rainbow Rowell, visit her website.
Happy reading! 🙂