Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Historical Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Synopsis: "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."
Review: Eleanor and Park was such a bittersweet book. Eleanor’s situation was so terrible and very sad. Rowell’s writing is so descriptive that I felt as if I was Eleanor and then that I was Park. I felt so much sympathy for each of the characters. I read this book a week ago and now that I’m sitting here writing this, I’m getting a nostalgic feeling like I would get if I think back to some of my old friends and old memories.
The characters, particularly Eleanor and Park, resound so much to me. Eleanor’s family home is so so sad and poignant. I just wanted to steal her, take her to my house, and give her a massive bear hug. The amount of sympathy I feel for Eleanor is very much like the sympathy I would feel for a friend; that’s how real Rowell is able to make her characters. For Park, I feel like although his family life is the stereotypical family, he has to live up to a lot of expectations which is something I can relate to. Rowell creates really real characters and I loved that about Eleanor and Park.
As for the plot, not so much. A lot of the book was just the same struggles, time just passed. Once Park and Eleanor fell in love, the book kind of fell into a rut and stayed there until around 30 pages until the end. After a major event, the book just stayed in the same aftereffects of the event for such a long time that it got quite redundant and boring.
Even though I disliked the plot, the romance was so sweet and similar to love in real life ( in some cases). Both were keeping secrets, but both were content in each other’s presence and the other person made them happy. Eleanor and Park didn’t have much in common, but I thought that this so realistic (at least in a multitude of high school relationships). They’re defining traits were contradictory, but in the end they just balanced each other out.
I’m very satisfied with Eleanor and Park and loved everything except for the somewhat repetitive plot.