Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell | Book Review: Eleanor and Park is a young adult fiction written by Rainbow Rowell. The book was published in the year 2013. The book revolves around two teenagers Eleanor and Park. Both our protagonist, though as different as chalk and cheese bound over time with the help of 80’s music and comics.
Book Synopsis: Eleanor & Park [Goodreads]
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 punchline. 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.
Book Review: Eleanor & Park
Eleanor Douglas, sixteen-year-old teenager lives with her mother and stepfather. She is the oldest in the family consisting of two gals and three boys. Eleanor, hates her step dad Richie, since is he physically and verbally abuses her mother and siblings. The whole family leaves in terror of him.
Park Sheridan, half Korean has always lived in Omaha. Though his family is not very rich, their house is filled with love and affection. Park who is not too tall thinks he is a disappointment to his father since he is not as tall or masculine as his father. Though he is friends with popular kids in the school, he is still insecure when it comes to his Asian origin and his height.
Park sees Eleanor for the first time on the school bus which happens to be her first day at the new school. The students find her weird and refuse to share the seats. Park rudely offers her a seat and orders her to sit next to him, when he notices Eleanor is about to cry.
“Park noticed the new girl at about the same time everybody else did. Not just new – but big and awkward with curly hair, bright red on top of curly. And she was dressed…like she wanted people to look at her.”
Park and Eleanor have few classes together and has time passes they connect over comics and music.
So, this is the story of two misfits dealing their own issues and trying to keep their relationship afloat.
Impression: Eleanor & Park
This book has been in my wish list since early 2015. I never got a chance to read this as I used to always buy some other book. This March I got this book as a birthday present and thought this is the right time to read it. I have been hearing lot of praises for Rainbow Rowell’s books, so naturally I was intrigued.
I enjoyed the development of the characters. The feelings of Park and Eleanor as teenagers is excellently brought out by Rainbow Rowell. You just can’t help but feel sorry for Eleanor and her family when you come to she doesn’t own a toothpaste or toothbrush. She and her siblings use dish wash and tick shampoo since Richie won’t permit them to have basic necessities. You see red when you come to know Richie has taken out the bathroom door and shredded the curtains so there is no privacy for anyone else.
The turning point of the story is when Eleanor is babysitting her father’s girlfriend baby and for the first time she calls Park and talks for hours together. You can’t help but go awe when Park confesses his feelings.
“I miss you, Eleanor. I want to be with you all the time. You’re the smartest girl I’ve ever met, and the funniest, and everything you do surprises me. And I wish I could say that those are the reasons I like you, because that would make me sound like really evolved human being…”
The book is worth the time and money you have invested in it. You feel pain, anger, disappointments, love, loss and insecurities in just 325 pages. The book does lag a bit but it’s almost forgivable.
Go grab the copy and start reading. I bet you will fall for them.
I give this book 3.5 stars.
“Reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love
with a book.”
~John Green, author of The Faults in Our Stars.
Eleanor & Park Book Details
Name of the book: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Year of publication: February 2013
Publisher: Orion Books
Page Count: 325
Location: Omaha, United States
Characters: Park Sheridan, Eleanor Douglas
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
About the Author
Rainbow Rowell (born February 24, 1973) is an American author of young adult and adult contemporary novels. Her young adult novels Eleanor & Park (2013), Fangirl (2013) and Carry On (2015) have been subjects of critical acclaim.