Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell |Where I didn’t like Eleanor… Park was alright though!

Rainbow Rowell’s books will always hold a very special place in my heart.  2016 was the year of everything happening at once (good and bad) and one of the greatest things I’ve done last year was starting my blog and devouring «Fangirl» in one sitting, and I have been obsessed with her novels ever since.

After reading three of her contemporary novels, I was expecting «Eleanor and Park» to be just as warm and lighthearted. Oh, how wrong was I!

22438404Eleanor 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.

GoodReads  |  Amazon  |  Bookdepository

I must admit this was not my favourite book. Besides, it turned out to be something completely different from what I expected (and wanted at that time). Nevertheless, it was a classic Rainbow Rowell – an incredible love story consisting her signature writing style that will never stop surprising me.

WHAT I LIKED:

1- I loved Park. He was the kind of character that felt real, someone who could possibly be living just next door or go to the same school. Someone who loves comics, listens to tons of different music and wears all black. Sounds familiar doesn’t he?

Books do an amazing job introducing us to new worlds, new people and new personalities, but they also possess the power to create the most familiar characters ever. Now tell me, why wouldn’t you love to read?? I just don’t understand some people!

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2 – Unpredictable events. Honestly, I am one of those people who ruins their own fun by figuring things way too early and just awaiting the author to confirm my “oh-so-right” theory. However, I was not expecting the events to turn the way they did! Usually, contemporary novels are not the best at surprising me, but this one definitely did (not quite sure that I enjoyed the surprise though).

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3 – Is so typical of Rainbow Rowell to showcase her light and hearty writing. Even though this book contains some “shocking” and difficult-to-discuss matters, it could not be Rainbow Rowell’s book without her distinguished writing style – the story flows in such a way that does not allow you to take your eyes off the page, even for a second. Which can be slightly bad for your eyes, but reading great books always comes with great sacrifices!

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4 – The fragile relationship between Eleanor and Park. A wrong word or a slightest movement in the opposite direction could ruin something very special that was growing between them, and it was a true pleasure to follow them throughout this process.

WHAT I DISLIKED:

1 – I wasn’t able to connect to Eleanor in any way. I tried very hard to find something about her that would make me like her, or respect her, but there was nothing. And this is completely on me, as we all have different views on life and everything around us, and sometimes you meet people (real or fictional) that are way too different for you, and there is nothing else you can do, but try to understand their point of view.

I understood Eleanor and where she was coming from, but nothing in the story made me fond of her.

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2 – At points, I found the story slightly stale, dragging over the chapters, and that is a book with just a little bit over 300 pages. It felt if the story could have been told in fewer chapters and nothing would have been lost.

That, however, does not mean that I will stop reading Rainbow Rowell’s books any time soon, considering there is only one more unread book of hers left on my shelf. She is still one of those authors, whose books are an instant buy (pre-order?) for me.

My rating:

⭐⭐⭐ / 5

Let me know in the comments down below if you’ve read any of Rainbow Rowell’s books and which one is your absolute favorite!

With love,
Alex

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11 thoughts on “Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell |Where I didn’t like Eleanor… Park was alright though!

  1. I listened to this a while back. I think you’re absolutely right about Eleanor. I did enjoy the audiobook and I loved the narrators, but it was difficult to connect with Eleanor. That’s not always a bad thing in books, especially when it’s first person narration, but I felt like I needed to connect to her with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uh! Audiobooks with Rainbow Rowell’s writing are probably amazing! I should try them at some point. But you are right, Eleanor is a main character and the whole story is built around her, I wish she was slightly more likable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For me personally, as I previously said – connecting and relating to the lead characters is essential to how I interpret the stories I am reading. I recently had a DNF review on my blog due to how I could not effectively draw interest in the lead character; her sister, I felt should have been the lead in lieu of her as she was simply stronger & better formed. I read to get into a character’s shoes – their heart and their mind. I know characters can have growth over their journey within a story, but I like to be emotionally invested. If I cannot relate or feel any connection to the character, I’ve lost the point of the story — the only thing to do is admit it’s not my cuppa but it could be for someone else.

    I agree with you – everyone is uniquely different and individualistic – yet! There are some people IRL and/or in Fiction we simply cannot draw a line of connection with and that’s okay, too. If we remain open & responsive towards meeting new characters (and people IRL) that’s better than some of whom only seek out those of whom share their exact likes/dislikes/lifestyles, etc.

    I haven’t yet read Ms Rowell’s collective works. I have one of hers on my shelf – a friend gave me Attachments which I hope to be reading in 2018. 🙂 I do keep the door ajar for writers I don’t at first feel a connection to reading; perhaps it’s a quirk of one story not being my cuppa or if I continue to find myself disinterested, it’s simply not an author to keep reading. We all go through this, but what I meant to say – I agree! If you find one story by an author you already love reading – it’s a quirk! I have had this happen, too! Doesn’t make me lose interest in their future stories or the ones I loved in the past – it just means, “one” of their stories wasn’t for me. (or insert whichever number of stories are not floating your boat by an author)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Thank you for the comment ❤

      Some people might find Rainbow Rowell writing style a little bit simplistic, but that is the beauty of it for me. The simple sentences, the simple words can portray such complicated and deep emotions and connections between the characters.

      «Attachments» is one of my favourites and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. It is definitely a step up from YA to a more adult contemporary romance but, written in her characteristic way, it reads in one sitting and only leaves behind the most incredible and warm feelings.

      Like

  3. Great Review!😃 I gave it 2 stars so I think you’ve enjoyed it a little more than me and that’s great. I agree with you about Eleanor she’s such a difficult and problematic character I just couldn’t stand her behavior, if I would have to choose one thing that I liked of the book would probably be Park because he’s adorable 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, hun ❤

      Eleanor was definitely not an "easy" character. And even though at the end of the story we get a further explanation of her background and things that happened to her, it is still difficult to like such a troubled character.

      And I am not saying that all characters should be likable! I love stories when the character is real and not necessarily the best at something or the nicest of them all, but Eleanor was too eccentric for me to relay to her in any way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review ^^ I read Eleanor & Park way too long ago for me to remember enough to write a decent comment here tho xD I don’t even know if I enjoyed it. I think I did, but it wasn’t my favourite either. That place still belongs to Fangirl!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve lately been arguing in my mind whether to purchase this book or not. This is the first review of this book that I’ve stumbled upon and now I’m getting mixed feelings. You couldn’t connect with Eleanor but the book was a pleasant read right? You said it was a drag in a few chapters. I am also a fan of romantic stories….. But really I’m in a dilemma. Should I read it or not? Please do suggest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It still had all the good bits that Rainbow Rowell adds to her book – beautiful and light writing, romance and struggles. But I would rather recommend you to read either Fangirl, Attachments or Land-line. I enjoyed them way more. (there are reviews on each of them on my blog 😊) #shamelessSelfPromotion

      If you already read all of her other books, then I’d say give Eleanor & Park a try. You might like it more than I did!

      Like

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