Eleanor & Park
AUTHOR: RAINBOW ROWELL
GENRE: YA, CONTEMPORARY, ROMANCE
FORMAT I OWN: BORROWED FROM LIBRARY
MY RATING: 5/5
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.
Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book – he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor… never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose
Hello bookworms and welcome back! Today, on this fine day I am presenting to you a review for Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell! As the second Rainbow Rowell book I’ve ever read, it not just met my expectations, but blew them out of the water, once again. Rainbow Rowell is an amazing contemporary writer, so if you like contemporaries, you need to check out her books!
Eleanor & Park is a beautiful, heart-wrenching and adorable novel about first love, following the perspectives of the two love interests. It’s a novel that not just explores what it’s like to fall in love for the first time, with some lovely dynamics on family that leaves your heart in a tangled mess of feelings. Let’s discuss my thoughts further, shall we?
Characters played a major role in this novel, as the story revolves around the lives of a boy named Park and a girl named Eleanor who meet and begin to grow closer and closer over the course of the novel. Their growth and development together probably one of my favourite parts of this novel.
Eleanor is the new girl, she is larger and rounder than most and to have a protagonist that was not skinny as a model was a fresh thing that was included in this novel. Eleanor is a red-head and is teased at school for it and also for the fact that she wears ridiculous clothes that are the result of living in a poor family with a horrible, HORRIBLE step-father. She is sarcastic, insecure, comes off as quite pessimistic and a little angry at times. Reading about her character and her family life was honestly so heart-breaking for me. She lived in a toxic family environment, controlled by her sick step father and I felt a lot of sympathy towards her. I wanted her to live a life she deserved.
The thing about Eleanor is how she kept putting up with her horrible family life, not trying to do anything. It made me want to cry and shake her and convince her to do something! She didn’t want to open up to anyone and tell them what was going on. Again, more sympathy and sadness there.
And then there is Park, the male protagonist. I love Park. He is half Korean and looks very much Asian. His goal is to just be invisible in school, so that no one will pick on him or bully him. He’s amazing at taekwondo, enjoys reading comic books and listening to mix tapes. However, when he meets Eleanor, his perspective and the way he lives his life changes. He becomes more bold in doing things he wouldn’t normally, eventually growing to becoming confident in himself by the end.
Park and Eleanor’s relationship was amazing. Rainbow Rowell really executed what it feels like to fall in love for the first time, and hard. It was a slow and steady development that was cute, but also had it’s problems, with Eleanor and her reluctance to open up. They fell in love through the pages of comic books and personalised mix tapes. It was adorable and just honestly a joy to read. It all led up to the most heart-breaking moment in the end that brings us back to the reality of life and love. I genuinely shed tears at the end of this novel. I did not expect it to end that way, and I still can’t believe it!
The plot of this novel was basically the development of Park and Eleanor’s relationship. It went at a great pace that wasn’t too fast or too slow and built up to the climax so so effectively! Rainbow Rowell pulled me right in to Eleanor and Park’s story and relationship and then shockingly pulled me right out.
Rainbow Rowell’s writing style is as always, amazing. She writes beautifully. She can write humour so well, and I always find myself smiling and laughing at moments in the book. She is also amazing at writing about family issues and themes which was evident in this novel, with Eleanor’s life. Her writing flows well and seamlessly and I never find myself stumping around words or sentences in her novels.