Review: Eleanor & Park

eleanor and parkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin’s Press in
Pages: 328
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
eleanor and park




Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

I finally finished this book yesterday and I liked it way more than I thought I would, since I didn’t particularly love Fangirl [my review]. 

Everyone probably knows what this book is about already, but whatever, here’s a short summary. E&P is set in Omaha in 1986 and follows the two sixteen-year-olds, Eleanor and Park, as they fall in love. Eleanor has a hard life, she considers herself unattractive and overweight and comes from a poor home with an abusive step-father. Park’s home-life is a lot better, with a Korean mother and a white father who make sure to kiss each other every day. He likes punk music, comic books and eyeliner. Eleanor and Park don’t like each other very much, until they do. 

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.
– Goodreads

Like I said, I liked this a lot more than Fangirl. And I don’t usually read romance, so that was a surprise. I think what I liked so much about this was mainly the characters. I really loved Eleanor, in particular. The descriptions of her and what she’s wearing really stood out to me so that she materialized very clearly in my head. I also really enjoyed reading about her sad and chaotic home-life, it reminded me of Shameless, my favorite TV show. Angst is fuel to my soul, so I liked that. 

Park is also a good character. I liked his venture into starting to wear eyeliner to school despite his father being so against it that he refused to speak to him. 

The romance was really sweet. It might seem that they fall for each other out of the blue, but I didn’t really mind that, because I could see a build-up. There was also a build-up in the relationship itself, I don’t know how long it took before they even dared to kiss, but it was a while. Everything about it is just sweet and innocent and adorkable. 

This book does contains teens having sex (not graphic or descriptive) and swearing. To me that’s perfectly fine, but I’m just putting it out there. 

The ending is bittersweet, most definitely. I’d heard that before I started reading it, which is one of the reasons I picked it up. Sugar-sweet happily-ever-rafter romance books don’t appeal to me in the slightest, so Eleanor & Park was perfect for me in that sense. 

That said, I wouldn’t say no to a sequel that takes place when they’re both like 27 years old. 

eleanor and park
Have you read it? What do you think? 
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11 thoughts on “Review: Eleanor & Park

  1. Denise says:

    I read this one about 2 years ago, and I enjoyed it then! It was my first Rainbow Rowell book, so I didn’t have anything to compare it to at the time, but looking back now, I think it’s my least favourite – I definitely enjoyed Fangirl much more. I found it to be a little slow, but I agree with you on the characters. Park was by far my favourite – he was awesome!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Anette. Great review!
    Denise | The Bibliolater


  2. Emily says:

    I read this a while back, and I loved it just as much. The characters were also what kept me interested, I loved reading about them. I’m glad to see you enjoyed this just as much as I did!


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