April 10, 2015

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Source: Bought Hardcover
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: February 26th 2013
Age Genre: Young Adult
Challenges: TBR-Cleaning My Shelves
Challenges: Contemporary  
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.
I joined the Rainbow Rowell bandwagon a while ago, when I read and loved Fangirl, so Eleanor & Park has been on the top of my TBR list for a while now. I was just so darn excited for this one! But from the get-go, this book and I... we didn't click.
It started with the slang. I know, what? Well, this book is set in 1986, right? 1986 slang should be different than contemporary slang. Maybe not by much, and maybe not all of it, but some. And yet, the boys and girls cursed and swore same as they would today. And that bothered me to no end! I wanted to feel like I was in 1986. I didn't.

Then there was the love story. I loved the love story in Fangirl. I expected to be similarly bespelled by Eleanor & Park's. Can you sense the 'but I wasn't?' coming? Because I wasn't. It started out good. Them not talking. Then them starting to kind-of-maybe be friends through comics. Then them saying they need each other---wait, what? Huh?

This is insta love. They know almost nothing of each other. They've known each other for such a short while in which they were talking. I'll buy lust. I'll buy attraction. I'll even totally buy them starting to go out because let's face it, when you're sixteen loving the same comic books can totally be a reason to start dating.

But that excessive "I need you's" and "I live for you's"? Were they necessary at that point? Couldn't they have been pushed back eons and be given at a more appropriate time in the plot, where I could believe them?

From the moment those words were uttered, I was over the romance. Big time. I seriously considered DNFing when this line of dialogues continued, but I was so damn interested in Eleanor's family story. I wanted to know what will happen with this heartbreaking background too damned much to give up on the book.

And the ending? I've seen plenty who hated it. I did too, but not on account of Eleanor & Park. No, I disliked the ending because SPOILER we have no idea what happened to her family. We know from Park's POV that they left Richie (thank god and it's about effing time and good riddance), but we also know through Eleanor's POV that they're not at their uncle's with her, because she doesn't mention them once. The sole reason I read on - and I wasn't satisfied! END SPOILER

All in all, this is not the Rowell book I'd recommend. It's not bad, but it's far from perfect.


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  1. I think Rainbow Rowell is definitely getting as famous as John Green, and a movie for Eleanor & Park is in the works so it could definitely blow up as much as TFIOS. However, to me, this wasn't her best work.
    Still, I'm hoping all the attention will get her other books as popular :D

  2. Great, honest review! I don't think I'd like this book much for some reason. But I do want to read it sometime. =)

  3. Thanks Stephanie!!
    If you haven't read any of Rainbow's books, I'd recommend starting with Fangirl. If you already have, than by all means give this one a shot too :) It's widely popular!

  4. I have been wanting to read a book by this author for so long, but like always I am late to jumping on bandwagons. *sigh* I know this ISN'T the book I need to start though because I'm almost positive I won't enjoy the ending. Or at least, not right after reading another book I just finished with a less than happy ending. Definitely not a fan of insta-love so I'll probably pass on this one until I've been previously acquainted with her other works!

  5. Oh, wow, you have to give Rainbow a shot! I really recommend Fangirl, and I really enjoyed Attachments as well :) (haven't read Landlines yet).
    And as for this book... I mean, it's arguably her most popular one. I don't think you should start with it because of my own experience, but there is a big chance you'll adore it :)

    I don't think there is anything bad with joining a bandwagon late Sarah! I mean, you get to enjoy more books at once that way, don't you? For example, I just started Vicious by V.E Schwab and I already know I'm going to join that bandwagon. Now I can read more books of hers at once! :D

    Thanks for reading my review and taking time to comment! <3