1 May 2016

Review #414: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Ends are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don't really end, anyway, they just begin again in a new way. Ends are not bad and many ends aren't really an ending; some things are never-ending.”

----C. JoyBell C.

Rainbow Rowell, an American best-selling author, has penned a tear-jerking yet heart-warming tale about young, first love in her book, Eleanor & Park that narrates the story of two teenagers- a red-headed girl and an Asian boy slowly, silently falling for one another everyday on their way to school but this story is so much more than just a teenage love story, it harbors the insecurities and fear of losing one another, especially the limitless option to unconditional first love without any judgement.


Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

Well, I hope I'm not the last one to experience the sweet yet heart-breaking torture of Eleanor & Park . Yes I know the climax bothered me a lot and probably it bothered millions of readers before me. I mean why did the author had to play with our emotions? But since I'm a positive person, I would like to think of a new beginning for Eleanor & Park's love story. Not a happy ending perhaps a happy beginning.

Eleanor is the imperfect red-hair newbie teenage girl to the town where Park, the half- Korean teenage boy, lives with his adorable family. They are not neighbors but they share the back seat of their school bus, and that is where the seed of their love was first sowed with the help of action comics read by Park, but surprisingly with no words exchanged between them. The next part is easy, as these two imperfect souls fall for one another. Well it seems they are not lucky as their love is threatened by some mean students and not to mention, there is a wicked character, whom you might want to kill with your bare hands, by pulling the character out of the pages of this book, who will finally put a flame to their love story. Rest is for you to find out!

I'm already accustomed to the author's writing style as Fangirl made me fall for this author for the very first time. The author's writing style is articulate and easy to comprehend with. The narrative is absolutely enthralling and highly inspired from the real voices of the everyday teenagers. The story is engaging from the very first page itself and I hate to say that my copy of this book is filled with yellow highlighted lines, as the author made the narrative so quotable. No the author does not dwell with the idea of insta-love like it happens these days, as the story is set in the 80s, hence the author stresses on the then culture of mixed tapes, calling on land-phones, wearing band T-shirts, and stuff like that and the author has pulled that really well into the story.

The pacing is really fast as the story seizes the minds of the readers and tying their hearts into invisible bonds of connection with these two characters. The story is laced with deep, evocative emotions that it will make you feel like falling in love for the very first time. I hate to admit that when it comes to Rowell, she will use real-life flawed everyday kinda characters to create hers.

Both Eleanor and Park are flawed yet honest and authentic and the author strikingly portrays their demeanor through this story and withing an instant into the story, the readers are bound to feel a connection with these two unforgettable characters. Eleanor tries to be brave and she does not let anyone get to her with the constant bullying an nasty remarks as she fights for herself on a daily basis due to her family. And thus Eleanor becomes an epitome for those girls who are subjected to bullying both at home and at their school. Park is the kind of guy for whom, if you had a million bucks, you would trade the money to get him. A very, sweet, adorable and a weird music/comic books lover who will make you fall for him at the very first instant.

The love story between them is filled with emotions that are real and that will get through our hearts and will make the readers yearn for it. The compassion between them is spot on yet the author kept the love between them quite innocent and sweet. This book is bound to soften the stone-hearted humans and will make them feel deeply. Yes there is no doubt that I cried buckets over this story and at times I smiled and laughed out loud with their shared joys and jokes.

And on this happy note, I must conclude by confessing that from this day on I shall never ever miss out single one of Rowell's novels that she has ever written or she will ever write. And I will urge everyone out there, be it young or old, to read this incredibly poignant yet compelling young adult love story.

Verdict: Do I even have to? A must-read definitely!

Author Info:
Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they're screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.
Visit her here 

Book Purchase Links:

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that you liked this one! I really enjoyed it too.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


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