Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell – full review

Eleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Pages: 328
Published: February 26th 2013
Genre: Contemporary

“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.”

The only Rainbow Rowell book I’ve read is Fangirl, I absolutely loved that book. I was watching Christine’s video THE LOL WORTHY BOOKS and I decided to request Eleanor and Park from my local library. I knew I would enjoy it as many people have talked about how amazing it is. I’m not a huge contemporary fan but this book was amazing.

One of the main things I love about this book was the fact that it wasn’t set in the present or the future, I read a lot of books which are either set in the present or the future. I haven’t read a lot of books set in the past, so I always find it interesting to read something different.

I love that this book touches issues like bullying, poverty and abuse. It also shows how often we judge other people, how our opinion becomes “true” to us, even if it may not be true. We assume, but we never ask. For example, Park believes Eleanor wears unusual clothing because she wants to stand out, but in reality it’s because she can’t afford to buy new clothing.

I think the whole concept of a troubled girl finding a boy who fixes her is fake. In this novel they didn’t do the whole she met the guy and suddenly she was happy and all her whole life was perfect rubbish. Rainbow Rowell really made it real, she showed the readers that some guy doesn’t just show up and make it better, but people can come into your life and make it that small amount better and that’s okay. Eleanor’s relationship with Park was a beacon of light in Eleanor’s life. But he didn’t make all of her problems disappear until the end.

Eleanor is so insecure, she doesn’t believe that she can be loved or wanted or accepted and when you’ve hit rock bottom it’s really hard to build yourself back up. Lots of books and movies show the girl falling apart and the guy saves her and everything is fine but Rainbow Rowell shows that that’s not always the case, it can help as we saw Eleanor improved with confidence but she was still so insecure.

I liked the ending, I know a few people didn’t. I think it showed how not everything in life ends up perfect, not everything will end up all unicorns and rainbows. Her writing expresses real life problems well, if that makes any sense.

When Eleanor ran away and she didn’t respond to any of Park’s letters because it was too hard for her, I was so heartbroken by that. But when she sent the postcard to Park at the end my heart filled with joy.

I loved this book so much, I loved the amount of realism Rainbow Rowell put into it. Honestly I can’t express how much I love the plot of the book and the characters.

Highly Recommend

5/5 stars