Book Review | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Series: ---

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Publication/Year: Orion • 2012

Page Numbers: 320

Synopsis from Goodreads:
"Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true - an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love."
My Rating★★★★ 

Quote(s) I Like:
"Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete and completely alive." - Park

"Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice. It was supposed to make you feel something." - Park

My Thoughts:
This was an enjoyable read, I really did like it. I love Eleanors character despite her woe is me outtake on life. Park started off as an ass, but as he grew to like Eleanor his character grew on me. Their relationship was by far outstanding to me. I hated that Eleanor had a rough life, but I'm happy she got away while she could. Richie...he should have died and Tina decided to "help" at the last minute.

- Spoiler Alert -
There really isn't much to discuss as far as spoilers, but I have a few points to talk about.

Eleanor was the new girl, in a new town, in a new school. She was a bit on the thick side and had clown red hair. She was made fun of by the other kids and had a terrible home life. Her step father kicked her out, she shared a room with her younger siblings, her mother was getting abused (physically, emotionally and verbally) and their place of living was not up to par. I feel bad that she had to endure all that she did. I was truly scared for her life.

Park was the Asian kid with smarts and friends. He didn't like Eleanor at first, but somehow she grew on him and he feel in love with her. His home life was pretty ideal -- he just had a dad that wanted the best and pressured him.

I love that their relationship wasn't instant love. They had to grow on one another. Their friendship started out on the school bus to and from school with reading comics and sharing tapes. Eventually Park felt something for Eleanor through her being different and despite Eleanor's fear and guard, she fell for him.

I will say -- I do not like that she had this woe as me outlook on life. Yes, her life was hard, but at the same time she could have made the effort to get to know people and keep herself happy.

Richie, her step father is a true evil bastard. He treated her mother like crap, cursed Eleanor out and treated like crap. The end when he got upset about her having sex and tried to kill her was crazy. That shows that he had some type of physical or sexual lust towards her and tried to make her feel like crap.

At the end I love that no matter what Park and Eleanor stayed together. Park never backed down no matter how much Eleanor pushed him away. He even took her to safety in another state. Truly loved their bond.

Overall Conclusion:
Very intense story with great characters. I definitely liked and enjoyed this novel. My first Rainbow Rowell novel. Two more to go.

Have you read this book?

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