Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell

 

Guys I read this in one day! Absolutely gobbled it up.

It’s 1986. Eleanor is starting at a new school, and she’s already got the odds stacked against her since she’s a bit on the chubby side, has bright, curly red hair, and her strange wardrobe. When she gets on the bus, everyone ignores her and refuses to make room… until she gets to Park, who not-so-kindly allows her to sit with him. And there starts an unlikely friendship that eventually turns into a beautiful story about first loves.

You guys, this book was SUPER cute. There were some darker elements as well – Eleanor’s family life is horrible and she has a lot of confidence issues – but the friendship-to-romance between Eleanor and Park was just adorable. I love that they became friends, slowly bonding through a love of music and reading comics, before they became something more. I was recovering from my oral surgery while I was reading this, and it was such a good distraction – I was literally squeeing with glee whenever something particularly cute or sweet happened. I’d look up at the honeyman and be like “AWWWWW they finally held hands!” and grinning like a fool.

Eleanor was a great character – even when she was frustrating me by being stubborn or criticizing herself, you can’t help but love her because the girl has is hard and she really is a sweet girl with a snarky side. And I love me some snark. I like girls who are different.

PARK! I think Park is what makes this book cupcake-level sweet. Park is better off than Eleanor – his parents are happy, and they live pretty comfortably. He struggles with his own different confidence and identity issues, but he rarely let his own problems get in the way of how incredibly awesome and generous he is when it come to Eleanor. Just… I don’t even want to say any more, because nothing should be spoiled. This book is such a delight.

Seriously you guys, if you haven’t read it yet, you have to. This book has been marketed a lot as YA because it’s about teenage love. I actually think it’s more suited to those of us who are just a bit older, who can actually look back on their high school years and remember all those tumultuous feelings of that age. It’s about first love! Plus, being able to remember the days when we used cassette tapes and landline phones helps bring back that extra bit of nostalgia.

I’m already looking forward to re-reading this. And it makes me really want to re-read Attachments, because that was another fantastic book by the author and now I miss it. Maybe there should be a Rainbow Rowell-themed readathon at the end of the year? Cause she is the bestest. And I CANNOT WAIT for Fangirl.

 

Sarah Says: 5 stars

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17 comments

  1. I loved this book, too. So sweet, so poignant, so perfectly capturing that headlong rush of emotion and senses that accompanies falling in love with the first time. And so sad and realistic, too (you know what I mean).

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  2. Duuuuude, I am so excited to read this! I mean, I already was… but EXTRA now! I think I’m going to get it for my birthday (YAY!) and I think it will be read before the end of the day hehehe

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  3. I loved Park! He was definitely my favourite character. I found Eleanor very hard to warm up to. But I do love that there was something so much deeper to this book — I thought it was just a YA romance in the beginning! I’ll for sure be checking out more of Rowell’s work now!

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    1. In the beginning I was worried that I wouldn’t like either one of them, because the indie/emo characters just aren’t my jam, but they quickly became awesome and I ended up liking them both. I was frustrated with Eleanor’s stubbornness sometimes, but I also think I kind of get why she was like that now.

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      1. Exactly. Though, I still think Park was my favourite. I don’t really get the whole emo/indie thing either … it’s like they’re ALWAYS going through some existential crisis or another. It can be a bit much.

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