Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and parrkTitle: Eleanor & Park

Series: Standalone

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Summary: Two misfits.
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. -Goodreads


**Spoiler free!

*Deep breaths*

What just happened?  Like… what just happened?

Eleanor & Park is the second book by Rainbow Rowell that I’ve read.  I first read Fangirl and thought it was amazing.  But Fangirl was a much lighter read than Eleanor & Park, so if you were looking for a cutesy contemporary, this probably isn’t the right choice.  There’s so much stuff that happens in this book, I just need to unleash the feels on all of you.

I started E&P yesterday after eight hours of studying.  But when I picked it up, it was un-put-downable.  Seriously.  And every time I put it down, I would think to myself, “Man, I really wish I could read Eleanor & Park right now.”  That’s when you know you’re reading a great book.

The book was told in both Eleanor’s and Park’s points of views.  They were both told in third person, which kept you slightly detached from the character, but that actually seemed to work with this book.  The way it was written made you feel like you were in the characters’ minds, even if it was written in third person.  The writing was also really choppy, which also worked for this particular story.  The writing style was more than simplistic (as Rowell was writing from the minds of two teenagers XD), but she wasn’t trying to be overly poetic.  It wasn’t poetic.  It wasn’t philosophical.

My favorite POV to read in was Eleanor’s.  She just had so much going on and it was heartbreaking the situation she was in.  But this is the kind of main character I love.  Different.  Quirky.  Not average.  Imperfect.  She was a fabulous main character.  She actually reminded me of Danielle Levine, the main character from OCD, The Dude, and Me (which I FINALLY got today!!!).

Don’t get me wrong, Park was great, too, and I really loved his family.  Park also wasn’t super perfect, or super muscly.  He was unique, too.  These characters are all so unique.  And despite Park’s family problems, they were still tightly-knit.

Eleanor & Park is set in the 80s, which was one of my favorite parts of the book.  They had so many discussions about music, and there was one point when Eleanor was describing a song, and it was great for me because I actually knew exactly what she was talking about!  There were records and mixtapes and MTV and music and it was fan-freaking-tastic. 

I was on the edge of my seat while reading this so many times.  There was a plot twist that I had kind of assumed, but I hadn’t really expected my prediction to be correct (it had been -.-).  I finished the book in about a day, which shows just how much I enjoyed the book.  I never finish books in one day.

I feel like the quote, “We accept the love we think we deserve” (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) fits perfectly with Eleanor’s mindset.

Rainbow Rowell is one of those authors who’s been getting a lot of attention lately.  You all know my thoughts on hype, but after giving Fangirl a try (and thoroughly loving it), I was more open to reading more of her books.  And so far, I haven’t been disappointed.  She absolutely deserves the hype she’s been receiving.

5/5 stars, and I can’t wait to read more Rainbow Rowell!

“I am the son and the heir
Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular…”
-The Smiths

“Love, love will tear us apart again.” -Joy Division

12 thoughts on “Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. Ah, I just re-read E&P and it was as good as I remembered. I’m really glad that you enjoyed it – despite my numerous recommendations, none of my friend’s have even touched of Rainbow Rowell’s books!


  2. AHHHHHHHHHH RAINBOW ROWELL IS A GODDESS AND NOBODY WILL EVER CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. As you know, Fangirl will always be my first love but this one is sitting tantalisingly on my shelf (two copies, actually – both the collector’s edition and the regular!) and I can’t wait to start it. 😀


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