Friday, June 7, 2013

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: A Review

"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.


I. Loved. This. Book. Seriously. I feel like I may say that too often. I need to work on that. But really. This story, with its broken characters and saving graces kept me awake at night and thinking about it well after I had finished it. It broke my heart into a thousand pieces. I laughed out loud numerous times. I cried, numerous times.

So the characters. I hated Eleanor's mom and for a time disliked Park's mom. But, they were there, in the story, ever present and existing. It's always a plus for me, especially in the contemporary genre, to see parents actually present and existing within their kid's life. I loved how real Eleanor & Park seemed to me. I felt like I was right there on the bus with them, feeling their awkwardness and nervousness as their friendship grew. The inner dialogue was just as great as the actual dialogue and I was very impressed with the honesty that Park had with himself. 

The story itself...should touch anyone who reads it. Adult, teen, it doesn't matter. Even if you've never experienced the actual events that transpire within the story there's something to relate to. The time period, being bullied, being *a* bully... it's all there. In all it's shocking glory. The writing was near perfection for me. I wanted to live in it.

Read it... and if you regret it I would be surprised. I don't really have the words to describe how touched I was by this book. 



  1. Wow. Great review. I really thought this book was just a cutesty looking quick read. I never thought it was going to be LIKE THAT, and all thought provoking.

    Thanks for the review.

    1. It's most definitely much more than one might think at first glance. I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I did if you get around to it. :)

  2. I. Need. This. Book. Yesterday <3

    Great review!!


    1. I hope when you get your hands on it you love it. It's such an amazing read, I think.

  3. I love the way you said "broken characters and saving graces". Excellent books have both equally and that is what really shines in this story. Agree about the moms too, though I disliked Eleanor's far more.

    1. Park's mom was definitely likeable in the end. I don't know that Eleanor's mom had any redeeming qualities, really. And it just made me sad that it's not complete fiction - there really are moms like her out here in the real world.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. I am so glad you loved this! I am not a huge contemporary fan but fell in love with this story. My only issue was I wanted more from the ending, ahhh<3 But their awkwardness and nervousness was just perfect and real.

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

    1. I know what you mean, although I did like the hope it instilled. :)

      Thanks for stopping by.


Thank you so much for taking your time to share your thoughts! I try to respond to everyone. :)