Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication: St. Martin’s Press
Length: 328 pages
Plot- 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.
Favorite Quote: “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.”
Let me start by saying that this is my very first Rainbow Rowell read and there will be many more to come. I like the writing. The narration just flows, word after word, chapter after chapter. The flow is very easy on the mind. The setting of the book is in 1980’s. It is about two teenagers, who are total misfits in their white neighborhood. Eleanor & Park are the lead characters in the book. The narration switches between these two characters.
Park is a half Korean, half Irish boy who lives with his parents (his parents have a very interesting love story too) and a younger brother. His Irish grandparents live across the street. This family has the perfect dynamics quite opposite to Eleanor’s family. I found him to be cute, considerate and mature for his age. Eleanor moved in Park’s neighborhood in her mother’s new husbands (she refuses to call him dad and hates it when her siblings call him that, not that she is overly attached to her own dad but Richie is kind of a jerk) small house with her five siblings and mother. Eleanor has a very difficult life after her parents got divorced and her mother married Richie. Eleanor & Park board the same bus to school and that is where their love blooms. Not right away but eventually…
I love that the story is so simple and heart-warming. It brings back the intensity, passion the innocence of the first love to life. The book is narrated from Eleanor’s and Park’s perspective making it easy to understand the characters. Every once in a while the author comments interestingly in the brackets. I love that. (if you read my blogs you will know how often I do that) What I didn’t like about the book was the abrupt and hurried end. Eleanor’s decision in the end was not justified well. It left me feeling sympathetic for Park.
All in all, the book is a breezy, light read that will remind you of your first love.