REVIEW #83: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: February 26th 2013
Pages: Hardcover, 325 pages
Source: Audiobook from the Library

Summary from Goodreads:
"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
''I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

AHHH so many thoughts about this one it’s hard to put into words. Eleanor & Park is a simple yet powerful story about two opposites that change each other’s life. Park has been living in his same house his whole life, his mother is Korean and his father is American. He comes from a happy home with two loving parents and while he is not the coolest kid at school, he still gets by pretty unscathed. Eleanor on the other hand is a bit overweight, has bright red unruly hair and pretty much follows her on rules when it comes to fashion. Eleanor shares a room with her many siblings while her mother gets yelled at and tossed around by her drunken step-father. By fate, Eleanor ends up having to sit next to park on the bus to school one day and that is how their friendship unfolds.

I loved this story from the plot pacing to the character development, to the writing style; everything was so beautifully real. The narration switches between Eleanor and Park allowing a deeper look into their individual lives as well as their thoughts. The writing style was so different from what I usually read, with short sentences, dialogue, thoughts, and blend of just everything.

The story flowed perfectly with the romance and love building gradually. I was left wanting so much more of Eleanor and Park. They are probably the most memorable characters I have read. I was thinking about their story all day long, just wanting to get back to listening to the audio book. The audio was fantastic, there are two narrators (one for Park and one for Eleanor) that read accordingly; the audio just enhanced the greatness of the story.

GAHH, the ending though… I wanted something else but was still quite okay with it. It is the only reason I just couldn’t give it 5 stars, I want more closure!! It left me thinking about the story long after finishing. Even though Eleanor and Park are so different, they are so perfect, so real.
I absolutely 100% recommend Eleanor & Park even if you do not usually read contemporary books (I don’t and I LOVED it). Rainbow Rowell’s writing draws you into the lives of Eleanor and Park and pulls you deeper and deeper into their struggles and against-all-odds relationship.



  1. I think that this would be a book that I would love to pieces! I need to get my hand son it at some point very soon!

  2. I've just bought this book! I've heard many good things about it and it's also a New York Times bestseller. My favorite genre is contemporary romance and I really like moving, strong stories. Great review! Thank you for sharing your thoughts (:

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

  3. Hmm, I'm very happy that you loved it, but I don't think I will like this. I rarely read any contemporary and if I pick one up, I want to be sure I'll like it (like The fault in our stars <3) I also don't like books with not enough closure, it's so frustrating :p


    1. It was a bit frustrating, so that is understandable :)

  4. What I loved about this book was the relationship! I thought Rowell did a commendable job writing a first love relationship that felt real and true and wonderful. Plus, I was positively giddy every single time something would happen to shift the balance of their relationship! So glad that you enjoyed it.

  5. This book sounds SO good! I love your review and the description of the characters. I definitely want to read this one- even if I am worried about the ending! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Marlene Detierro (Gold Buyer)


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