REVIEW: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

July 18, 2013

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – 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.
Buddy Read with Ruby from Feed Me Books Now, snippet of her review below.

Set in the 80's, Eleanor and Park is the story of a unlikely relationship between two people who couldn't be more different.  Eleanor is a outcast who just doesn't fit in with the rules of society that are harshly thrown at her and Park is the boy who doesn't fit in but doesn't stand out. The two find themselves sitting next to each other on the bus each day and suddenly the awkward glances and cold silences are swapped with comic book reading and hand holding. Eleanor and Park is a bewitching novel with a simply beautiful romance not to be missed! 

This book made me feel things. From the beautiful romance to the sad home life of Eleanor and the ending that will forever have me curious. Rainbow Rowell is author I need to read more of. She captured the 80's like a Polaroid picture come to life. The thing about this novel that for me made it so special was the romance. And although they were very different and not your stereotypical pairing they shared a really strong connection. They didn't have very high opinions of each other at first but it turned into this loving, understanding and accepting relationship and we don't see many of those these days. I think that we got to know and cherish the characters through their relationship which brought out their strengths and within that they discovered a lot about themselves.

Eleanor and Park is a book I know John Green fans would love as they both have the same sort of humorous writing style. It has a nice pacing and I felt connected with the characters and sympathised deeply with Eleanor. Eleanor was constantly bullied at school and at home things were even worse. She was her own person and while her vulnerabilities where sometimes frustrating, I felt so bad for her. Some of the things done to her were horrible and I just wanted her to... I don't know, stand up for herself I guess.

The ending was quite unexpected and left things unanswered. Whilst it was sad and in some aspects realistic (If you've read it you must be thinking realistic? how?, I would explain but I can't spoiler free) it felt a bit rushed to me. Eleanor and Park I had high hopes for because it just sounded like my type of book and I'd only heard good things. So when Ruby and I decided to read it together (sadly my copy didn't have the gorgeous cover shown above) I was thrilled and it definitely wasn't a disappointment. I hope you enjoyed my review but you are now very much obligated to read Ruby's fabulous review which I am sure will do better justice to this awesome read then I can. Here's a snippet of her's please do check it out!

"Books are mostly written to make you, the reader, feel things; maybe the author wants to make you laugh, or maybe they want to make you cry, sometimes they just want you to think... but with Eleanor & Park, it seems more complicated than that. Whilst the novel is funny and sad, as well as shocking, it also arouses a certain sense of nostalgia in the reader, and I, even though I'm not sure why or how, felt like I was reading hazy memory of some foggy description. And, at some points, I felt as if there was a muffled mix tape playing in my head as I was reading this... perhaps, a song by the amazing Joy Division or The Smiths? Rainbow Rowell managed to evoke so many feelings within me, as well as paint a vivid picture of the time this novel was set during."

Read Ruby's full review here

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  1. I finished reading this book last month after several John Green fans recommended it to me, and I loved it. Eleanor and Park both had such sweet personalities, and even though they came from such different worlds I feel like their relationship just worked. The ending, however, did leave me a bit disappointed. I don't know if I'd call it realistic, but I don't think anybody was really expecting it.

    Great review!

  2. Oh my god! I saw this book somewhere -.-
    Gotta buy and read it ♥

    Very nice review Sunny :) Especially the part written in purple xD
    Have a nice day :)

  3. Great review

    I really wanna read this book!

  4. I've heard sooo many great things about this author and Eleanor and Park, so I really have to pick myself up a copy! And just look at that gorgeous, adorable front cover!!! I would definitely display that at the very top of my bookshelf :D

    I'm a John Green fan too, so hopefully I'd enjoy this. Books with a humorous writing style are always amazing reads. :)

    It is brilliant to see that you really loved this one. It's so fantastic when a book makes you feel a ton of different emotions like this did to you. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely review with us. I want to read this even more now :Dx

  5. Aw your review is AMAZING Sunny! I can totally see where you're coming from when you say the ending is quite unexpected. :) I also need to read more of Rainbow Rowell's books (I think I'm gonna ask Lucy which one's her favourite)! :D Happy reading & happy holidays (my summer holidays have just started)! :D

  6. This is such a well-written, amazing review! Combined with Ruby's, I totally want to read this book now!

    I really want to experience this powerful romance for myself! You've really been raving about it that I MUST get my hands on a copy of this book as soon as I can! I'm really intrigued about the time period it's set in also... Eleanor is bullied? Oh nooooo! I HATE it when MCs get bullied - I always feel so upset on their behalf! Oh, yeah, and I always want to slap the bullies! *angry face*

    I literally just added this to my wishlist because of yours and Ruby's reviews! Thank you! ;D

  7. The romance and the fact that it made you feel really make me want to read this one. Great review.

  8. I naive just bought this, I can't eat to read it! So glad you enjoyed it, I haven't seen a negative review! I have yet to read a John Green book, argh, but I'll be bye rested to see what you mean by their similar writing styles. Great review Sunny! :D

  9. I just read and reviewed this one as well. I felt like the ending was a bit dramatic, and I like my books tied up. I do agree that the way the relationship ended up was somewhat realistic. Loved the characters.

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

  10. Glad to hear that you love this one! I've been wanting to read it, but actually the 80's setting made me think twice, like, "what if the setting was not real enough?" or something along that line. Nice to hear that Rowell managed to write it nicely though :D

    Lovely review, Sunny!

    Neysa @ [B.O.O.K.L.I.F.E]

  11. I read this book about a month ago! I thought it was a good storyline and it was very well written but I hated the ending; it didn't answer anything and I wanted to know more!! Great review, thank you!!

  12. I loved this book so much! I usually don't read romance but on John Green's review I got it. Imo, this is how romance should be done! As for the ending, even though I didn't like it per say, I understood why she had did it, and that it did sort of make sense. Great review :)

  13. looks like a sweet and light romance, so impressive to me! added!

    Green benefits


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