Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Published: St. Martin’s Press
Released: February 26, 2013
Read in: September 2014
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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 want everyone to meet you. You’re my favorite person of all time.”
I can’t even with this book right now! I was looking for something light and cutesy to get me over my book hangover after reading Ruing and Rising and this book seriously did the trick. It had great scenes that just made the feels flood all over you. It has a great sense of humor and you can’t help but love the heck out of it. I am glad I chose this to be my first Rainbow Rowell book. I have heard nothing but great things about Rowell and didn’t know what to expect since I am not a huge contemporary reader but this did not disappoint. I loved it! I loved all the characters (expect Richie. Duh. Right, Eleanor?) and the storyline was great. I loved that it showed just how great and strong a character Eleanor was. She was bullied not only at school from mean girls, but at home too. All these scenes just made you want to go punch someone right along with Park.
Aside from the ever terrible Richie I really felt so badly for Eleanor. She didn’t have much but she made the most of what she had. She never complained about not having everything other girls had or about the clothes that she wore. She just made due and I think I loved this most about her. She wasn’t selfish and never felt angry about what they didn’t have. Which warmed my heart when Park’s mom saw her at the grocery store and it brought her to tears because she remembered what it was like to be in a big family that didn’t have much. This was the turning point that brought Park’s mom to get to know Eleanor and not see her as a “troubled girl.” But Eleanor was such a great character to read about. She was insecure and not comfortable in her own skin and Park was the one who showed her no matter what you can be loved. She was beautiful without even trying and had a great heart. I loved her joking nature she had with Park. The way she’d roll her eyes or tease him about learning to drive a stick.
“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together. Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath.”
Park. Oh, Park. I don’t know where to even start with Park. He was just so adorable. I loved that he gave up his seat on the bus so Eleanor could sit down. I loved that he noticed she was reading his comics so he just opened the pages wider so she would read along. I loved that he began bringing her comics to read without even speaking to her. I loved the mixtapes she made for her. I loved every single thing he did for her! To punching Steve and declaring to EVERYONE that she was his girlfriend to giving her a safe haven at his house for her to get away from her stepdad. Park was so lovable and I loved everything about him. And I really enjoyed the relationship he shared with Eleanor. He never gave up on them. Even when Eleanor had left and said goodbye, Park refused. He stayed at home and wrote her every day because he didn’t give up on their love for each other. How Noah of him!
Now I had planned to get into Richie’s character and how much of a jerk he was or how OH MY GOD HE WAS THE ONE WRITING NOTES ON HER BOOKS! but you know what? I can’t. He’s just terrible and I had to forcefully make myself not skip pages when he was around. The entire time I just thought that he was going to end up in some sort of accident or kill himself because he was driving drunk or something and it may be sad or terrible but I hoped for it! But you know I don’t feel bad because he deserved it! I kept yelling at Eleanor’s mom TO LEAVE HIM! JUST LEAVE! Stop putting those poor kids through this! Maybe this spoke too close to home for me but I hate seeing kids having to live through this type of warzone. To waking up to yelling and crying. To being scared to even go home because who knows what you are walking to. It’s terrible.
Now on the other hand Park’s parents were wonderful. The fact that Park’s dad went to Eleanor and said that if it’s easier for her to be at their house away from her stepdad then he wanted her there as long as she liked. Then he offered to help her when things took a bad turn just brought tears to my eyes.
*Sigh* This book was just so great. So great that I can’t even get over it. The feels have filled my body and I am so happy and crying over it that I just want more. I don’t want to give these characters up. I want more Park. I want more Eleanor. I want to know they are together and happy and perfect. AND THAT ENDING?!?!?!?! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! If those “three words”WEREN’T I love you….then uh uh. Just no.