Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

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...

Title:Eleanor & Park
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1250012570
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:328 pages

Eleanor & Park Reviews

  • Steph Sinclair

    Should I break out in song and dance to "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep?" One lonely star. I'm just as surprised as you are, considering I just KNEW going into

    that I would love it, love it, love it. What reason would I have to believe otherwise? Almost all of my friends loved this book and have sworn fealty to the Goddess of Feels and Might, Rainbow Rowell. And I get it because she

    a pretty awesome person and I think she is totally lovely. So trust me when I say I REALLY wanted to

    Should I break out in song and dance to "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep?" One lonely star. I'm just as surprised as you are, considering I just KNEW going into

    that I would love it, love it, love it. What reason would I have to believe otherwise? Almost all of my friends loved this book and have sworn fealty to the Goddess of Feels and Might, Rainbow Rowell. And I get it because she

    a pretty awesome person and I think she is totally lovely. So trust me when I say I REALLY wanted to love this book. In fact, I am blindsided that I didn't, saddened that I can't join the

    Kool Kidz Fan Club and disappointed at such a disjointed reading experience.

    Random Reasons Why I Didn't Like This Book:

    My main issue stems from the romance between Eleanor and Park. I just... didn't get it. Though, that's not for lack of trying because I had many arguments with Adult Me and Teen Me in my brain. Teen Me remembers the infatuation of meeting someone exciting and experiencing all those special moments for the first time. However, with Eleanor and Park, it was entirely unrealistic and unbelievable.

    Park went from "God! Just sit the fuck down, Eleanor!" to "God, she has incredibly soft hands."

    Eleanor went from "That stupid Asian kid" to "He's so pretty. I love his hair! I want to eat his face!"

    The next thing I know, Park is telling Eleanor that he's in love with her, how he can't imagine being without her, that she's IT for him. Then Eleanor is telling him she doesn't breathe when she's away from him. Adult Me was not on board because the romance moved entirely too swiftly for my feelings to catch up with the events that were taking place. No, I take that back. "Swiftly" would indicated that there was some sort of actual pacing involved, but that was absent. One day they disliked each other and the next they were holding hands and proclaiming their love.

    I remember listening to that part while I was out on a morning run, and I had to stop and rewind because I legitimately thought I missed an entire chapter. But then I realized that I hadn't and I argued with myself.

    Adult Me: *twitch*

    Teen Me: Yeah, but remember when you thought you were in love with that guy and how you were going to marry him?

    Adult Me: Yes...

    Teen Me: So obviously they're not going to be together forever and ever and gallop into the sunset, but you can't discount those feelings.

    Adult Me: *gumbles* I KNOW THAT. But I also never wanted to eat a guy's face...

    Teen Me: Please don't tell me I grow up without a heart.

    Adult Me: ...

    takes place in Omaha, 1986, where there's racial tension. Park is half white and half Korean. He spends most of his time trying not to be noticed by other kids at school and struggling with his own insecurities over his mixed heritage. Yet, oddly, throughout the entire novel, Park doesn't encounter any racism. Apart from a few brief monologuing sessions about his classmates thinking he was Chinese, Eleanor's off-hand "stupid Asian kid" remarks and Park's own dislike for, in his opinion, looking too feminine, there wasn't anything that felt accurate.

    Park's character had so much more potential that was not utilized. I was hoping for something more from his development regarding how he viewed himself and his mother. Perhaps a certain level of acceptance or resolve would have been appropriate.

    There were also two black girls who befriend Eleanor, but even they don't seem to face any racism in this predominately white neighborhood. It was like Rowell deliberately tip-toed around them and instead threw in a reference to the community being offended by a black boy getting a white girl pregnant. Strangely, the only one who seemed to get picked on was Eleanor. I do think it's awesome that this novel had diversity, something that is sorely missing in YA, but I wasn't buying what Rowell was selling.

    At the same time, Rowell never let you forget that this book was set in the 80s since

    is overloaded with pop culture references on almost every other page. (I admit to chuckling to the 867-5309 reference.) Still, we also never forgot Park was Asian with Eleanor constantly referencing it in her narration to the point that I started feeling uncomfortable.

    I wasn't a huge fan of the back and forth narrative and found that it annoyed me more than anything. This is where I wonder if my rating is more an indication of how I felt about the audio vs. the actual story. I disliked both of the narrator's voices. The parts of Eleanor's dialogue that was "snarky" wasn't portrayed with the right kind of emotion. Park's narration was slightly better, but the narrator, Sunil Malhotra, bored me to tears with his monotone reading and unbelievable voice for Eleanor.

    I'll be honest and admit that it's possible that I didn't "get" this book. It may have just gone

    over my head. Why? Rowell tried to cram a lot of story and situations into one little book and it didn't work for me. Before going into

    I was told that the ending was heartbreaking, but I didn't feel that at all. Rowell relies on Eleanor's grim family life to spark sympathies from readers and I can see how this works and why it's marketed to John Green fans. However, the ending relies on your connection to their romance to feel the heartbreak. The problem with that was, by the end, I wanted to know what became of Eleanor's mom and siblings, but the focus was instead on her feelings for Park and letting him go. Eleanor spent a good amount of the story in this terrible environment, feeling these feelings and when I genuinely wanted to know her feelings about everything, all I get is a freaking post card and the book ends. Since the romance was doing absolutely nothing for me, I needed for the plot to come in and rescue this book. It did not.

    I'm not saying this was a terrible book. Not by a long shot. It's clear that this story has touched a lot of people and I wouldn't go as far to not recommend it, but I also think this is a bit overhyped. I went in with really high expectations, thinking I was going to be blown into next week by the awesome. Instead, I'm walking away with feelings brewing a special pot of "meh."

    Even still, I'm holding out hope for

    ...

    More reviews and other fantastical things at

    .

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    HOLY BATMAN THAT ENDING. I'M A MESS. THAT HURT, BUT IT DIDN'T AT THE SAME TIME. WHAT IS THIS FEELING EVEN? NYEAAHHH.

  • Katrina Passick Lumsden

    If you've experienced that first love - that heart-wringing, soul-squeezing, crush-the-air-out-of-your-lungs-whenever-you're-apart first love - this book will bitch slap your feels all to hell.

    I love it. I love its warmth and its vibrancy, its heartache and its pain, its humor, its meanness, the ugliness, the beauty, the crying, the laughter, the sarcasm. I love Eleanor and I love Park, and I love that there's still a tiny chance for them...and for everyone whose first love was torn away. Ev

    If you've experienced that first love - that heart-wringing, soul-squeezing, crush-the-air-out-of-your-lungs-whenever-you're-apart first love - this book will bitch slap your feels all to hell.

    I love it. I love its warmth and its vibrancy, its heartache and its pain, its humor, its meanness, the ugliness, the beauty, the crying, the laughter, the sarcasm. I love Eleanor and I love Park, and I love that there's still a tiny chance for them...and for everyone whose first love was torn away. Even if you never see that person again, they change you in ways that no one else will ever understand. They will always,

    hold that little piece of your heart that no one else will ever be able to touch.

    I love you, Rainbow Rowell, for giving me this. Thank you.


Free Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.