Book Review: Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park book cover


5 open books

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult
Published: February 26, 2013 by St. Martin’s Press
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Two misfits.
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 got to say I love Eleanor & Park!

I first learned about the book when a friend of mine posted a film adaption about it on Facebook so I got curious. I thought hey if she’s excited about then it must be worth the read.

And dang was I right.

From the epilogue to the very last paragraph of the last chapter, I was hooked.

It’s one of those books that I can’t put down; that I was willing to stay up so late just so I could finish it; that if I stop, I’d still be wide awake wondering what’s going to happen next so I might as well just go on reading.

Oh, the feels. I still can’t get over it as of this writing.

Eleanor & Park is a story about two high school students who had didn’t have a good first impression about each other but who ended up falling in love. It tells the tale of teen romance, of how two common interests (music and comic books) can lead to a beautiful, heart-wrenching love story.

Another thing that I love about this story is that it isn’t shallow at all, even the drama. My eyes even got watery at the part when Park’s mom told him of what it’s like to be with a large family. I, myself, belong to a big family. Food was scarce growing up. I even remember my mom feeding us rice porridge with cut taro for a week because money was tight. Sure it filled our stomachs but it never fully satiated our hunger.

Anyway, I really like their tender romance. It definitely reminded me of the glory of my first love. I also warmed up to the characters, especially Eleanor. She doesn’t care about what she looks like and she doesn’t care if she’ different, and that’s make her cool. And Park, for me, is like a modern-day knight in shining armor.

What I like about his character is he stands by what he believes. He didn’t even care what his friends think when he started dating Eleanor. I think that’s something that we all should learn, especially those who are in the dating market looking for a partner. There’s more to a person than looks.

Overall, I give this book five open books because I couldn’t get enough of it. The ending is a cliffhanger, making me think that writer wants us to make our own interpretation about what she meant about the three-word long postcard Eleanor sent to park.

If you just want to feel giddy and in love, this book is worth the read.

Favorite Quotes: 

Maybe he was Filipino. Was that in Asia? Probably. Asias’s out-of-control huge.

Eleanor had only known one Asian person in her life — Paul, who was in her match class at her old school. Paul was Chinese. His parents had moved to Omaha to get away from the Chinese government. (Which seemed like an extreme choice. Like they’d looked at the globe and said, “Yup.. That’s as far away as possible.”)

(Because being assaulted with maxi pads is a great way to win friends and influence people.)

Sometimes she wondered if the shape of his eyes affected how he saw things. That was probably the most racist question of all time.

Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.

“I don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…”– her voice nearly disappeared–“think I live for you.”

All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mind anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?

“It’d be better if you thought I was pretty when I don’t.”

“Nothing before you counts,” he said. “And I can’t even imagine an after.”

Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like an art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.



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