Eleanor and Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Page Amount: 352, US Hardback
I am sad to admit that this was my first Rainbow Rowell book. I met Rowell at BEA and even got a signed ARC of Fangirl, yet I did not read it. However, once I found out that Rowell was coming near my hometown, I knew the time had finally come for me to open on of her books. In preparation for the book signing, I picked up a copy of each of her books and began reading Eleanor and Park so I would not feel like a complete hypocrite when I met her. Well, once I started reading Eleanor and Park, I could not stop. I decided homework and readings for class could wait because this book was just that addicting.
This book centers around two high school students, both from extremely different walks of life. The plot was intriguing because this book is told in alternating perspectives of Eleanor and Park. When Eleanor was narrating, you are thrust into a world where everything isn't just flowers and happiness. Instead, there is domestic abuse, family issues, and a lot of pain. On the other hand, Park seems to be leading a privileged life, but not everything is a polished as it seems. The serious tones of this book does not bring the reader down because Rowell makes sure to include humor and cute, romanic situations that are sure to make the reader swoon and laugh out loud. I do not want to say much about the plot, because it is so incredibly beautiful, and I think you should find out for yourself.
As you probably can already tell, the characters are the driving force of this novel. Eleanor and Park are wonderfully developed. I loved seeing them grow as individuals and together. To be honest, when I began reading this book, I thought I was going to hate Park for being such a jerk. And then I thought I might Eleanor too for being so weird. But now it pains me to even admit that because now Eleanor and Park feel like real friends. Rowell is a master at making the reader realize their own discriminatory faults. Everyone has a story that you do not know. Eleanor and Park are both great examples of this. I learned a lot from being able to be a part of their relationship. It made me remember what it was like to be in love for the first time. It's something incredibly beautiful and relatable for readers of every age.
The ending of this book was great. I don't entirely want to say much about the ending because it is so incredibly beautiful. I accidentally spoiled the ending for myself, which made the ending a little less impactful. However, I know that if I read the ending without knowing what was about to happen I would have been freaking out and loving it a thousand times more. This ending- and book- is absolutely amazing. Please read this book. It's most definitely one of the most beautifully written love story I have ever read because it is realistic. I really wish that I could know what is next for Eleanor and Park.