Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 26th
Pages: 325
Source: Library
Genre: Contemporary (1980s), Romance

"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
''I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – 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.

This book.
This book.

I would add more gifs but I think I might get yelled at. I don't usually do gifs. I just don't know how to express myself at the moment. This book might have killed me a little inside. This book was just... perfect. There is just something about this book that just seems so real, I can't even comprehend this not being a true story.  Eleanor and Park... Please be real.

Elanor and Park is told in alternating perspectives in the 3rd person, showing just enough of each character's lives for them to be real, but keeping enough hidden to help the story progress in a way that the reader grows as the story does. I love this element of the story. There was never a point in the book in which I felt like I knew the right path to take, it was like I was struggling along with the character.  No one was perfect, they would fight, they would make mistakes, and they would have moment when all felt lost, but they would pull it together, and make it through together. They where human.

Eleanor's character was the one of the two perspectives that seemed to be more dominant towards the middle of the book. She has such dysfunctional life at home, and this was really emphasized in the middle of the book when she started to deal with balancing her troubled life with her new relationship with Park.

Park's character was more dominant in the beginning and end of the book when Park's evaluations of Eleanor begin, and as the book comes to a close. His perspectives give a very human picture of how different the two characters are, and how their lives create conflict in their home town.

The story begins on Eleanor's first day at a new school, where she is introduced to Park by force, when she has no other place to sit on the bus. Their friendship grows slowly, first without words between them, and then later their friendship becomes a relationship in the most innocent way. I love the gradual, innocent way their love grows for one another, and how they never intended to fall for one another in the first place. I wish there were more books that followed this trend because this seems like such a natural way to fall in love.

The ending was so terribly sad. Oh Eleanor & Park....


  1. I've heard such great things about this book, and I'm glad that you loved this one as well Erika! I'm actually doing a readalong of this one with some other bloggers near the end of May. And your review has made me even more excited to start this one!! Like, seriously. These characters sound fantastically human and realistic, and the romance sounds wonderful as well. I can't wait to read this book! <3

    Fantastic review, as always, Erika!

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  2. I'm so glad to hear you loved this book! I got it as a birthday present and your review definitely just made me even more excited to read it!

    Awesome review Erika!