Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Monday, October 07, 2013

Title : Eleanor & Park
Author : Rainbow Rowell
Genre : Contemporary
Published Date : 
February 26th 2013
Publisher : St. Martin's Press
Pages : 328
Source : Bought

From Goodreads :
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.


When I first saw this book, my initial reaction was like: "Ehm, no thanks". Seriously, the cover was just so totally not interesting, and didn't make me want to read it, period. But when I read almost every book blogs I've followed and saw a dazzling review of it everywhere, well, who am I to not be tempted? And yep, didn't regret my decision to do so.

"‘Dear Park,’ she whispered, her forehead hanging over the dresser, ‘just stop.’"

Eleanor & Park told us about the bittersweet years of our high school day with an 80's surrounding and a judgmental society. Eleanor was the not-so-perfect white girl from a miserable family. Park was the half-asian, short boy from a too sweet family. This is the story about our first love, about how there's no happy ever after, and what crazy things us teen are willing to do to make it last.

The story, although it might be nothing out of ordinary there, I think it was exactly what was awesome about this book. The story was just romance without any remarkable exception. The problem was also just what you'll most likely found on our everyday life. But that's just the rawness of it that really captured my attention.
It truly depict teenage's insecurity, how our life was a huge whirlwind of mess where the society defines us, and how we are all just a brat whose words means nothing to adult. Maybe it doesn't hit with older reader, but to me and possibly other young-adult readers, it truly resonated.

"She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something."

Our main characters, Eleanor and Park were both amazing as well.
Eleanor might not be the typical thin-and-pretty girl you'll often see in books, but even without the pretty image, she still managed to shine with her strong and unique personality. Her back story was also very solid, and I really love how her narration had a very strong voice, and are full of her personality.
Park was also a total swoon when it comes to his sweetness. I love how he accept Eleanor just the way she are and really had the quality of a dream boyfriend without being too cheesy, and still managed to have his own life, and not just existed simply as Eleanor's counterpart and nothing else.

The side characters too, although their story might not be as deep as the main one, I found that most of them have their own personal traits that really made them stood out, and made them different from each other. Their personality and little details about them was carefully planned, and they were all so flesh and bone, and really believable.

Overall, I think that this book was quite a great read that will take you back to your high school year, thinking about your foolish first love, and crazy things you did as a kid. It also had a deep meaning behind it, how our world was a society divided by race, skin, and size. With a strong characters and a resonating story, you will greatly enjoyed this one if you're a contemporary lover.

Cheers, x

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  1. Yes, I swear almost every book blogger I know gave this book 5 stars! To be honest, from the blurb E&P does sound really boring and I am not a big fan a historical contemporary... But then i started seeing all these 5 star reviews everywhere haha and now you! XD I do love relatable MC though and I just like reading about Asian characters in YA! Not to be racist, but I'd love to see more diversity in YA. I guess I better read this soon before I grow old and forget how it feels to be a teenager :P

  2. Oh, I really, really loved this book. <3 It was amazing. So glad you loved it too :D Thank you for sharing your awesome review :)
    Thank you for commenting on my mailbox. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

  3. Yes! I loved this book as well and loved how realistic the portrayal of the characters' relationship was realistic!


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