Book Review: “Eleanor & Park”

Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“She never looked nice. She looked like art and art isn’t meant to look nice; it’s meant to make you feel something.”


Before we get too far into the details of this review, I would first and foremost like to express my admiration for Rainbow Rowell. This is the first of her books that I have heard and it will not be the last! There is an inherently dire need for an author of YA genre novels to either be young or truly grasp the feelings of youth to make them believable on the page. Rainbow Rowell has nailed this. The awkwardly obsessive high school relationships, the overwhelming need to fit in and be accepted, the utter inability of parental understanding.. Rainbow Rowell not only remembers what it was like to be this age but reminded me of how I felt as well. Throughout the story, as Eleanor slowly began to trust Park and reveal things about her dysfunctional family or her place in high school hierarchy, I too could remember back to those days and felt uncomfortable and empathetic towards her. The same goes for Park as I related to both his longing and loathing of his father’s love. The beauty of this book is not that the guy gets the girl or that the weird, chubby girl becomes beautiful and popular or even that everything ends happily ever after —  the beauty is that it brings us back to that first young love that we were all sure would be our last.

I would recommend this book to just about anyone, male or female, particularly ages 15-35. If you like YA, this is right up your alley and a quick read as well if you’re in between series’ or looking for something with a punch that can be finished in a weekend.

— happy reading —

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