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Eleanor & Parkby Rainbow Rowell
Publication: St. Martin's Griffin on February 26th 2013
Genres: Coming of Age, Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Better World Books • Goodreads
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.
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] stayed up until the wee hours of the morning with Eleanor & Park, and I don’t miss the lost sleep one bit. This book was worth it.
It was incredibly easy to fall in love with the characters. Both Eleanor and Park were so different, but completely charming and likable. I loved Park’s family, too, and Eleanor’s friends, DeNice and Beebi. The characters were incredibly well thought-out; I loved the little details and that each character had their own distinct “voice”.
While the romance aspect of the book was wonderful, what I liked even more was the fact that it wasn’t easy. I appreciated Eleanor’s hesitance and the difficulties she had in opening up to Park. What she went through in life would have colored the way she viewed things and reacted to things, and (while it often made me sad for Park) I was glad that the author chose not to take the love-conquers-all cop-out.
There’s something so simultaneously brash and tender about this book. I’ve heard friends sing Rainbow Rowell’s praises for a while now, and after reading Eleanor & Park, I get it. She writes with emotion and a sense of raw reality that’s incredibly refreshing. This may have been my first experience reading one of her books, but I can safely say it won’t be the last.