Book Review: Eleanor & Park
Eleanor & Park. Where do I even start with this book? Let me first say that it’s been a very, very long time since I finished a book in less than 24 hours. This one hooked me. Like a fish!
It was my first by Rainbow Rowell, and I only heard of her (and this book) from Good Reads after so many people seemed to be raving about her writing, her characters and her love stories. So after finishing Big Little Lies, I was ready for something that was really going to grab my attention (and my heart!) And to say that Eleanor & Park did that would be a very sad understatement.
The book starts with introducing the characters – Eleanor and Park – both with their own quirks and their own paths. Little do they know that their paths will cross and that they will never be the same after. The two slowly become friends. Park (hesitantly) allows Eleanor to have a seat next to him on the bus after everyone else essentially shuns her. Eleanor is different – definitely walks to the beat of her own drum, and her life isn’t so easy, but she’s tough! Park is very like-able, he has a pretty normal life, by most standards. He reads comic books on the bus and eventually Eleanor begins to read them, and Park notices. Park then begins to bring her books to take home, and their friendship, and love, grows from there.
The poetry in the book caught me in the best way – melty heart and teary eyes and butterflies in my stomach! And never have I read about such exhilarating hand-holding.
“As soon as he touched her, he wondered how he’d gone so long without doing it. He rubbed his thumb through her palm and up her fingers, and was aware of her every breath.”
“When he touched, Eleanor’s hand, he recognized her. He knew.”
The emotions of both Eleanor & Park are so well thought out and even better portrayed to the reader. They are so raw and the characters are tender and so loveable. I can’t imagine being an adult and writing a book about teenagers and the dynamics of high school. But you can tell that Rainbow Rowell remembers those emotions so very well. Your heart will break in one chapter and in the next you’ll find your heart overflowing and you’ll be left speechless.
I have nothing but good things to say and 5 stars for this book. But it’s also heartbeaking. Not in a The-Fault-In-Our-Stars-someone-dies-and-I-cried-for-days kind-of way. But in an I-hated-high-school-but-would-go-back-for-hand-holding-like-that-an-my-heart-is-so-full-and-omg-are-they-together-now? kind-of way. Like, I have thought about this book no less than every hour of every day since I finished it. I wish I could just wipe it from my mind just to read it again!
Currently reading: All The Bright Places!