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!
Eleanor 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.
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!
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).
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!
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.
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.
⭐⭐⭐ / 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!