Book Review | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

 

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publishing date: 26th February, 2013
Pages: 328

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 


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-oldsβ€”smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.


My take:

I read this book because of the hype surrounding it. I don’t know what I feel. I kind of have mixed feelings for this book. It was a good read actually, it went smooth and I liked the switching narration of Eleanor and Park. πŸ™‚

It’s been a while since I read this book so I had to search a lot and find out if people quoted something that even I liked and quoted in my copy because I lost all of my highlights. Reading those quotes made me connect to the book again on a personal level.

There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…

If you’ve ever been in love, true love, your first love, you will get what I am saying. It’s so nerve-wrecking and comforting at the same time. All those feelings leave you scared but that person drives all your fears away. First love is really a very pure experience and people who have experienced it are lucky. These quotes that I picked out are a mass acceptance because everyone seems to have loved these lines. I think it really connects with people. You go through these feelings when you are in love and it’s quite frightening until you know it is mutual, even then you need some time to digest the fact that you have such a wonderful person with you to hold and be held forever. ❀ πŸ˜€ ❀

This book had all those feelings, the words had feelings and lots of them to be honest. Just read these lines if you haven’t and you will understand… πŸ™‚

β€œI don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…” – her voice nearly disappeared – “think I live for you.”
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” she whispered. “Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath. That’s probably why I’m so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”
He was quiet. He wanted everything she’d just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with ‘I want you’ in his ears.”

These words. ❀ Now that I read it again I know exactly what Eleanor meant. This fear of the person, that is giving you all these feels, not wanting you like you want them and leaving you is real. It’s only them that can drive that fear away and that’s what Park does. I love it how Eleanor opens up to Park and how Park tries to solve all her problems and wants her to experience the beauty of little things. May it be reading comics to her pace or making her a tape of the songs he thinks she might like or thinking about asking for batteries as Christmas present so that Eleanor could listen to songs… really, it’s the little things that matter in the long run. Park wins with flying colours in that aspect. Him kicking his friend’s ass for bullying Eleanor is an added bonus. I was impressed with that kick. ❀

β€œNothing was dirty. With Park.
Nothing could be shameful.
Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.”

These lines by Eleanor are something that every person in love feels. How you get comfortable with things you were uncomfortable with and how you start liking them. Love does get you to a new level of comfort with a person. πŸ™‚

β€œMy girlfriend is sad and quiet and keeps me up all night worrying about her.”

This reminds me of something. πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

β€œEleanor was right. She never looked nice.She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

Park really has a way with words. I don’t think he could have found better words as to describe the way Eleanor dresses. To be honest, her style is too loud for someone who doesn’t want to get noticed. The same goes for Park. The guy who was focused on not being noticed starts wearing eyeliner which will surely get him noticed, I felt like he did it to piss his dad off. I don’t know I just felt like the scene was forced.

The ending, when Eleanor realizes who the person was behind all those little mean notes she got and the night she goes to bed and finds it out had me on edge. The book made me nervous from that point. I was scared for everyone involved and the actual ending seemed bland in comparison to the climax. Eleanor spends considerable time with her dysfunctional family so at this point they were all an important aspect of the story, forgetting them completely once Eleanor is out of the mess wasn’t exactly a good idea. I wanted to know what became of her mother and siblings, how they were, and what about her stepdad? Through Park we do know that they left but that seemed like lazy writing. Instead of delving into their story, the characters just disappeared with a vague explanation.

All in all I loved the love they share and the bond they have but the story… I need more. I need to know what happened to Eleanor’s family and what became of Eleanor and Park. I felt it was kind of wrong on Eleanor’s part to not reply even once and then start the interaction after months. I know she had problems but you don’t leave the only person helping you miserable. I am not sure how I feel about the ending. I felt like there’s always hope for love and felt sorry for Park.


Why would I pick it up?

Because… Love! ❀

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4 thoughts on “Book Review | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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