First things first, I LOVED this book. This is my first Rainbow Rowell novel and it’s fitting that it was her debut novel too. I can definitely say that it will not be the last book of hers that I read, I really like her writing style.
Eleanor and Park is a YA novel for older readers (there is a warning on the back) due to swearing and sexual content but to put it simply, Eleanor and Park is a story about young love, that it may not always last, and a clear example of how opposites attract.
The novel begins with Eleanor- the new girl, and her struggle to make friends whilst struggling with her life at home- she hates her stepfather and would much rather be anywhere else than in the same home, and area as him. Then we meet Park, the Asian kid at the back of the bus who always wears his headphones.
I’m not usually a fan of dual perspective, I didn’t like it in Allegiant by Veronica Roth for example, but I like it here as we get to view and understand both of their lives, it really helped me to understand, not just the story, but also the characters a little deeper too. They really felt real, like two ordinary American teenagers- although their choices in music and clothing could sometimes be confusing due to the story being set in the 1980s. I was born in the 90s (although some of the pop culture references such as bands, singers, and brands I recognised.)
The only character that I really disliked, well- hated, was Richie, Eleanor’s stepdad. When we find out what he is really like I wasn’t surprised, but I definitely didn’t see it coming. Of course, it is because of Richie that Eleanor decided to move away, leaving Park behind….
The ending is sad, not teary sad, but sad, but in a way- also kind of happy. You go on to think that, having escaped Richie, Eleanor was finally free and happy, she got away from a man who hated her, and Park moved on and found someone else.
It’s a book I am glad to have finally read. It’s adorable, it’s not cheesy (alright some parts are) but I would recommend it to everyone.
I flew through it,