I had already read two books of Rainbow Rowell and while they didn’t blow me away, I still liked them. But according to many people, Eleanor & Park is her best work. I didn’t need more to convince me to read this book.
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.
My rating: 3/5
What I thought of it?
I really liked this story and the main characters Eleanor and Park in general. While it might seem like another teenage love story, this book definitely isn’t. There is so much more to it. But sadly, I felt like that “much more” that there is, wasn’t fully explored.
Eleanor doesn’t live in a perfect family and her stepdad is the worst person alive. That fact just gives so much opportunities for the story, but it’s a little bit pushed to the background sometimes even though it’s the biggest “thing” that stands between Eleanor and Park. Maybe the author wanted to focus more on their relationship as a couple then the family relationships Eleanor has, I don’t know.
Nonetheless, it’s a really lovely book about a real relationship that isn’t all flowers and sunshine. I really loved Eleanor and Park together. They were the cutest and many times I was just giggling over them. I loved how they met and how their relationship developped. And their nerdy side is just amazing.
But on the other side, there were often moments where I didn’t understand Eleanor. Especially in the end. I won’t spoil anything, but it just kinda sucked. So on that part, I sometimes didn’t like Eleanor. But Park, god, he’s such an amazing, caring character. There probably isn’t a single flaw in that boy. He also had the loveliest parents even though they also had their flawed moments. But that’s only realistic. And as much as I loved Park’s parents, that’s how much I hated Eleanor’s. It would be obvious to hate Richie most, but I hate Eleanor’s mom most for letting her children live like that. And then Eleanor’s dad, who just doesn’t care is equally bad. God, I hate people like them. Like hate with the capital H. Yeah, that much.
To finish; kinda spoilerish; this book has an open ending and I have a love/hate relationship with those. On the one hand I hate that I don’t get closure when finishing a book, but on the other hand I love that I can let the characters live on in my head and let them have the ending that I want. But still, open endings sometimes suck and sometimes I just want to know what the author had in mind for them.
Anyway, this is once a again a story that reads really smoothly and everyone who loves a nerdy romance with a little bit or angst will probably love this book.
Until next time,