Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 26th 2013

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.




Okay, really unpopular opinion time:  Guys, I didn't love it.  I wanted to love this one like crazy and I put it off for so long because I was really worried I wouldn't.  I didn't hate it but I wasn't crazy about it either. Here are my thoughts:

What I liked:
If you've been around my blog for a while you know that I LOVE friends-to-love stories.  These two meet on the bus and slowly form a friendship that turns to adorable hand holding, kissing, and more.

I loved that Eleanor wasn't your typical, perfect girl with the perfect body.  It is mentioned (A LOT!) that she isn't super skinny and is a little chubby.  I liked that she wasn't "perfect" because I feel like young adults have "the perfect image" shoved at them enough in magazines and other pop culture.  It made Eleanor more relatable and real, in my opinion.

Park's parents.  In young adult books, it seems like the common theme for the parents to either be absolutely awful (like Eleanor's parents) or completely absent, and Park's parents were very involved with Park's life.

The nerdy and 80s references.  I was pretty geek happy with the Han Solo references, I'm not going to lie.

What I Didn't Like:
The Ending.  I am the type of person that likes things wrapped up tight, and maybe with a nice little bow on top.  The ending left everything up in the air, and that bothers me.

Park completely stopped hanging out with everyone but Eleanor when they started their relationship.  He says he realized that he didn't much like them anyway.  What?

I hated how embarrassed Park was of Eleanor for a good bit of these book.  I get that she looked and dressed different than other people but not cool man, not cool.

Okay, this one is a bit spoiler-y, so skip this part if you don't want to know/haven't read it yet.  SPOILER!!!  I really hated that Eleanor cut off all contact with him when she left.  He did so much for her and she couldn't even call to let him know what was going on or if she was okay??  Awful.
END OF SPOILER!

So after all is said and done, I can't really say that I loved these two together.  I'm a little disappointed because I absolutely LOVED other Rainbow Rowell books, like: Carry On, Fangirl, and Attachments.  I will definitely still be reading more of Rowell's books tho.  

I own Landline but haven't started it yet.
Has anyone out there read it?  If so, what did you think about it?

14 comments:

  1. Ok so I love Rainbow Rowell but this isn't my favorite from her. I LOVED Landline. I know people have mixed feelings but I related to it a lot. Hope you enjoy that one more!

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    1. So glad I'm not the only one!! Everyone seems to absolutely love this one and I just didn't get it. I really love Rainbow Rowell's other books that I've read tho (Fangirl, Carry On, and Attachments). So glad to hear that you loved Landline. I was getting nervous about reading that one. lol! I have it waiting on my shelves but haven't gotten to it yet. Thanks Grace!

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  2. I haven't read this one yet but it's been on my shelf ready to be read and I did have high expectations because like you I loved Carry On, Fangirl and Attachments. So I'm sorry to hear you didn't like it that much! I'll try to lower my expectations before reading. Great review!

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    1. I hope you end up enjoying more than I did. I seem to be the unpopular opinion so maybe you will love it! Carry On is still my favorite Rainbow Rowell book out of all of them so far. Thanks Lindsey!

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  3. Don'y worry Julie, I felt exactly the same way about this book that you did. It was probably my least favourite by Rowell, which I was gutted by, as I did expect more going into this book. But thank you for the honest review! :)

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    1. Ohhh I'm so glad I'm not the only outcast here! hahaha! I swear everyone was telling me that this was their favorite Rowell novel. I was really disappointed. So far it is definitely my least favorite. I'm nervous to read Landline now. lol! Thanks Jasprit!

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  4. I'm sorry to hear you didn't love this Rowell book. I didn't fall in love with it like I did with Fangirl but still enjoyed it overall. I'm getting ready to read Landline next so curious to see what I'll think of that one. Great review!

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    1. Glad to hear that even though you didn't love it, you still enjoyed it. I have Landline too and I'm nervous to read it. lol! I really loved Carry On, Fangirl, and Attachments tho, so fingers crossed, I will love it! Thanks Suzanne! Hope you love Landline!

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  5. Aww i'm sorry you didn't enjoy it!! I really loved this book! i was also pretty frustrated with the ending...Great post :)
    Kariny @kariny's boox frenzy

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    1. I know so many people that really loved this one and said it was their favorite Rowell books, but I just didn't love it like the others I've read. And uuuggghh...that ending! lol! Thanks Kariny!

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  6. Same! I liked it, but didn't love it either. I wanted more from the story and wanted to like the characters more.
    ~Sara

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    1. YES, exactly! There just seemed like there was something missing to me. I didn't love Eleanor like I expected to...same with Park, really. Thanks Sara! <3 Glad I'm not the only one lol

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  7. I LOVE E&P but I definitely understand your dislikes. That ending was hard. I listened to Landline on audio and really enjoyed it. It wasn't my favorite by her but it was good!

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    1. The ending was really hard. I like my endings to wrap up everything tight but I felt like too many things were left up in the air. I don't like the open-ended conclusions. lol! I'm glad you enjoyed both Landline and E&P! I definitely want to read Landline soon, but I'm nervous because the reviews are so mixed on it. We'll have to see how it goes, I guess.

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