Monday, March 11, 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

Title:  Eleanor & Park 
Author: Rainbow Rowell
 St. Martin's Press 
Publishing Date: February 26th 2013
Pages: 320
Genre:  YA Contemporary Romance / Realistic Fiction
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audio


It's 1986 and two star-crossed teens are 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.

 A cross between the iconic '80s movie Sixteen Candles and the classic coming-of-age novel Looking for Alaska, Eleanor & Park is a brilliantly written young adult novel.

I saw this around other blogs a couple of weeks ago for the first time and since then I have seen nothing but positive reviews and great things about the book. I thought it sounded good so I grabbed it. One of the best reads of the year. 

This story is about someone who is very broken and someone who doesn't know who he is and they find each other. They start off as strangers and end up each others heartbeat to life. Eleanor comes from a very broken family. Her father has been absent from her life for more than a year, her mother married a real jerk that is very abusive, and she has no self esteem. Park is a loner with very few friends who he doesn't quite fit in with. He doesn't now where he fits in. Park comes from a pretty "normal" family, he has a mom a dad and a brother. Apart from a few family issues, its a pretty great home. Through music and comics on the bus ride to and from school, Eleanor and Park get to know each and learn they need each other in their life, they form a pretty wonderful sometimes fragile relationship. The story is about the beginning, the middle, and the end. 

This book was amazing. I am still finding it hard to put my thoughts into words. I found the story to be so endearing, wonderfully sweet, an emotional roller coaster ride, and everything I could have hoped for. Everything felt so real to me. The relationship wasn't rushed but started off slowly and built over time. The story wasn't just about the romance but about what's real, broken homes, dreams of the future, healing, taking chances, family, and what it really means to be there for someone. It really was just fantastic. 

I loved Eleanor. I loved Park. Eleanor is so broken I just wanted to hug her. I would get so angry at her at times for shying away, for being so down on herself, for not finding a way out... but in my next breath I understood and just found myself crying for her. Her life was so horrible and she was doing everything she could to just keep it together. Park is just so perfect. So sweet, patient, so understanding. I really don't think guys like him existed in my high school. It took him a while to come around to admitting to himself and to the rest of the world how he felt about Eleanor, but when he finally figured it out, it just kept getting better. 

The love story was one of the best for me. I liked the fact that it's about first love and it didn't start out intense or extreme, it starts off slow and so very sweet, built on insecurities and common interests and blooms into something real. It was a nice change from the insta love I have been reading lately. 

Another aspect I loved about the book was the emphasis on family, broken homes, and dysfunctional families. The difference in the family values can make a big difference on the problems at hand. The book didn't preach at all for sure, but I liked the way that Park's family is there for him. No matter the issues they had, in the end, they listened, the learned, and they did what needed to be done. 

Very beautiful story, elegantly told with a an edge of quirk. I absolutely loved it. 

I loved every word,every page, every moment. I would recommend to anyone that enjoys realistic fiction and sweet romances. I look forward to reading more from this author. 


  1. I've seen lots of good reviews about this book, too. I'm glad you liked it as well. I'm waiting for it to come in at the library and hopefully I'll join everyone else that's loving it!

  2. I saw this book at the bookstore the other day and thought it looked really cute! So glad to hear you loved it-- might just have to pick it up! Great review!

  3. I loved this one so much, too, and even more so since I've finished reading it. I read an ARC but I think I'll have to get my hands on a finished copy. So beautiful.

    Side note: Didn't that ending just tear you up? I knew it was the only way to end it but I still wasn't prepared.

    Lovely review. : )

    1. yes it completely tore me up! I was crying like a baby.

  4. You're "in love" with E&P? See what I mean? ERRRRbody loves it! I guess I'm going to cave and grab the audio. :)

    1. I think you will like it, I am not worried. I think you should just chance it and get the audio. I am anxious to see your thoughts!


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