Review for Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell!
Quick View Review:
Characters: ***** (5/5)
Plot: ***** (4/5)
Writing Quality: ***** (5/5)
Amazon Rating: **** (4.5/5)
Eleanor doesn’t fit in. She has red hair, wears men’s clothes, and has a personality like no other. But she isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and be confident for who she is. Her family is messed-up. Her stepfather abuses her mother and is feared by all his stepchildren. Yet despite all her problems, she fell in love with a boy named Park.
Park lies low, stays in the background. He’s a taekwondo master and will defend the people he loves. He has a more or less normal family, and wouldn’t stand out in a crowd. He fell in love with a girl named Eleanor.
So how did such an unlikely couple end up so completely in love? Find out in this brilliant yet incredibly simple novel by Rainbow Rowell!
This book was amazing. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking, beautiful and tragic. I wouldn’t say it was one of my all-time favorites, but it’s definitely close. It’s crazy to me how simple the storyline was, and yet this novel is so unique and unlike any other I’ve read.
The characters were fascinating to get to know and read about. They had complex personalities and were realistic and relatable. Unlike in Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill, even the bullies showed a generous, kind, and helpful side, and that they wouldn’t turn their backs on anyone if that person were truly in trouble. My personal favorite character was Eleanor. Throughout the whole book I admired her confidence, her sureness in herself, and the fact that she didn't change who she was despite wanting to fit in. Of course, I thought Park was absolutely adorable, and although he wasn’t really my fictional type, I couldn’t help but get gooey at his ridiculously cute gestures and his hilarious awkwardness.
The plot was plain yet extraordinary. I realized the simplicity of the book when someone asked me what it was about. When someone asks me this, I can usually go on for hours explaining every little detail of the plot and meticulously describing the characters, but for Eleanor and Park, I easily replied: “It’s just about two high school kids who fall in love despite odds stacked against them.” What I think makes this book unique, though, is that this kind of beautiful romance isn’t the norm in other books. In most of the romantic books I’ve read, it’s the classic story: perfect attractive girl and perfect attractive boy fall in love while going on some kind of amazing adventure. This novel, on the other hand, focuses on the characters that are usually in the background of these stories and shows us that amazing things can be happening right in front of our eyes while we might be focusing on the dramatic and seemingly "better" story. Yet Eleanor and Park’s pure and beautiful love will defy your expectations and will peel your eyes away from that action-packed book you thought would surely beat it out. I know this because that’s exactly what I thought until I picked up Rowell’s masterpiece and began this amazing rollercoaster of a novel.
The writing in this book was exceptional. It matched the simplicity of the book, yet it didn’t make the book boring like you might think it would. This book wasn’t a page-turner, but, like The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, it wasn’t supposed to be. What kept you turning the page was the beauty of love between these two unique teens.
Overall, this book was unbelievable and simply magnificent. It showcases how love is specialer (is that even a word?) than a diamond in the rough, will cause you to go talk to that girl sitting by herself in the back of the bus, and will truly show you that you can’t judge someone until you know their full story. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone, but high school teens will hold this book dear forever, simply because it very well could be their own story.
Make sure to come back next Wednesday for a new review!
Zoe & Jordan