This is a review of:
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
a young adult contemporary
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.
I wasn’t a great fan of Fangirl, and deciding to get into this book I had my doubts of it being worthy to read.
I’m so glad I did it because … WOW! this book is completely different than Fangirl was. We have some real issues the heroine was dealing with and we have a cute romance with a fantastic and cute love interest in Park. Also, the likable and unlikable side characters, the latter being Eleanor’s stepdad.
What I loved mostly was how the interaction between Park and Eleanor started with friendship and then turned into something more. It changed both of them. I also loved the way Eleanor experienced the feeling of being “loved” and how, considering the house she was raised in, felt underserving of it and kept wondering why he was with her. On the other hand, there was the better family atmosphere in Park’s family. I honestly felt more gripped by Eleanor’s story than Park’s but still he was a cute and caring guy.
I felt emotionally invested in E&P more than I did with Fangirl. The writing was intense and emotional and really heart-wrenching at times. I nearly cried during some scenes. The end was so satisfying as well.