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.
A much anticipated read since I tried reading it over winter break before I left for school, but I only got ten pages in before I realized I didn’t have the time. But here I am. Having read it, I’m not entirely sure it lived up to my high expectations.
A beautiful story of first love, in equal parts cheesy and heartwarming. For me, I just expected an overwhelming feeling as I read. Don’t get me wrong, I had the fuzzy, heartwarming feeling, but it wasn’t this overtaking I’m-feeling-love-for-the-first-time feeling like I expected.
Despite this, Rainbow Rowell created a beautiful story of finding one’s self and finding love for the first time. Park loved Eleanor for what she was, he didn’t care about where she came from; he genuinely cared about her and loved her all the way until the very end of the book. Eleanor was a special character. I see so much of myself in Eleanor’s character – not in the home life aspect – but others such as lack of self confidence, not being able to see potential in one’s self. The other characters were realistic to imagine – even if I didn’t like them, for example Eleanor’s abusive stepfather, Richie, I literally hated the guy.
I loved how Rowell was able to pull me into the book and create such an overwhelming feeling of love and acceptance, despite this, there were several times I lost interest in the book and wanted to put it down. The book would move along really fast and then really slow. The character progression went from the characters thinking very poorly of each other to thinking each other were pretty in such a quick span of time, and then their relationship dragged on, but then would move quickly. There were some other things I didn’t like such as Richie, or the fact that despite the fact that Eleanor was such a smart girl, she NEVER sought after help to remove her from that household or even fulfill her basic needs such as food and toiletries, maybe even a stupid toothbrush. I also HATED the cliffhanger at the end. No telling what those three words were? No epilogue that said if they ever saw each other again? What happened to Eleanor’s mother and siblings? Was Richie ever arrestedd Thank you Rainbow Rowell for for killing me with an immense amount of curiosity.
Eleanor & Park didn’t exceed any expectations I had, probably because I expected much more of an overwhelming love story, when instead I received a fluffy, heartwarming version of Romeo and Juliet. I’m happy the book received such an immense amount of positive feedback and high following, but for me, it wasn’t what I was expecting. It was a good book, but it was extremely over-hyped and not anything I feel the need to re-read any time soon.
As for my next bookish adventure it the much anticipated Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, soon to be released in September! I am excited to start this book and continue to make my way through my August Reading List! Happy reading lovelies!