Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Posted March 19, 2014 by lockhartbecca in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Series: Standalone

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: YA Contemporary

Format: Hardcover, 328 pages

Release Date: February 26, 2013

Source: Personal Library, Bought

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Add to Goodreads

Buy the Book

from Goodreads:
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.

This book gave me so
many feels. I was literally a bundle of emotions before I reached page 100. Now
that, my friends, is skill. The most amazing thing about this book is that I
immediately connected to the characters. I’m talking from page one. I just felt
such a deep, emotional connection to them. They felt like friends. Which made
me fall absolutely and hopelessly in love with this book.
Eleanor was such a
strong, amazing girl. She has a horrible home life. I mean, truly awful. And as
if that’s not bad enough, she’s not exactly your “traditional-looking” girl.
She’s heavier, has bright red curly hair, and doesn’t exactly wear the latest
trends in fashion. But Eleanor had this shining inner strength that I wish I
had myself. Is she hurt by what the kids say? Yes. Is she hurt by her home
situation? Absolutely. But Eleanor survives and she pushes forward every single
day. I don’t know if I would be able to do that in her situation.
And Park. Oh, Park. I
am in love. He is the first contemporary book boy that I have fallen head over
heels in love with. He was so…real. He has insecurities. He even has some
terrible thoughts about being seen with Eleanor. And that’s okay. Because he’s
human and he’s a teenage boy and he’s allowed to. What’s great about Park is
that he evolves and grows and Eleanor really helps him become the person that
he is, the one he’s been trying to hide. Park is so sweet, so protective, and
just so perfect. I loved everything about him.
So why did this get 4.5
stars? It was going so well. SO well. I was raving and fangirling over this
book in my head. Even after asking twitter if the book was going to break my
heart and getting an overwhelming “yes”. But that’s okay. I don’t mind crying.
And I didn’t mind what happened. (I mean obviously I wanted everything to be
rainbows and unicorns, but that’s not the way life works.) But the ending felt
incomplete to me. It was too open. I want to know what happened. I kind of felt
like I got dropped off the edge of the cliff. Am I the only one who feels this
But forget about that.
The rest of the book was incredible. Absolutely stunning. Rainbow Rowell is two
for two so far for me. Now I need to get my hands on her adult book, Attachments and her new one Landline which is coming out this year.
She’s an auto-buy author for sure. She writes with such emotion and depth and I
just love everything about her writing. I seriously sticky-noted the crap out
of my copy of Eleanor & Park.
*sigh* So many amazing quotes. Anyway, you should all read this. If you like
contemporary, or even if you don’t, I recommend this book. Powerful characters.
A beautiful, slow-burning love story. I’m still swooning and trying to slow my
heart rate down over here. Happy reading all! 
Have you read this? Did you swoon and fangirl over this romance as much as I did? How did you feel about the ending? Too open? 

Tags: , ,

12 responses to “Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. Anonymous

    It's weird, I just did not like this book. I felt like it lacked something. The writing did not wow me nor did the plot. Maybe I should give it another chance…I read this between the Shatter Me books 1 and 2 and sometimes I'm a much tougher critic when I have finished a brilliant book. Not fair of me, I know, but sometimes I just can't help it.-Dana

    • Yeah, I get it. Sometimes when I read a book that I fall in love with, I have a horrible book hangover and I don't like the next 3 books I read. I personally loved this one. If you give it another try, I would love to hear your thoughts!

  2. I loved this book so much! Ironically enough, the way you felt about the ending was the way I felt about the ending of Fangirl. If you're ever up for a re-read, listen to the audiobook! Definitely one of my all time favorites. Great review! 🙂

  3. Rainbow Rowell is such a fantastic author, I think she does an amazing job of creating these complex real characters that you can really relate to. Attachments is so good too, I think you'll love it. And I can't wait for Landline, the premise sounds so unique. Great review! ~Pam

    • I know! I couldn't believe how connected I felt to both Eleanor & Park in this book. And so early! Literally before the 100 page mark, I was absolutely in love with these two. I can't wait to read both Attachments and Landline!

  4. Yes yes yes yes so happy you loved it!!! I agree, the ending was a little open but for some reason that didn't bother me (it usually does). I think because I was already so in love with the book haha!
    This is my favorite Rainbow book to date so I'm SO happy you loved it!

Leave a Reply