Hello lovelies! Hope you’re having a fab day! Today I’ll be reviewing Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. It’s a romance, the type of book that I wouldn’t normally reach for, but I’d heard so many people rave about it, that I just had to see what all the hype was about!
I enjoyed Eleanor & Park, however, it’s not the best book I’ve read recently; I much preferred All The Bright Places, which I reviewed a few weeks ago (you can read that by clicking here!).
The story has two main characters, Eleanor & Park. Eleanor is new to the neighbourhood and all she wants is to fit in, but with unruly, red hair and mismatched clothing, she couldn’t stand out more! Park is the boy at the back of the bus who likes to keep himself to himself, but, then he meets Elanor and his life is changed forever. Over comic books and tape decks, they slowly fall in love. But Eleanor’s horrible stepfather, Richie, doesn’t want her dating, and Eleanor knows that if he finds out, he’ll send her away, or do worse. She’s also being bullied; someone at school, or so she thought, is writing horrid things on her exercise books. But then she makes a discovery and runs away… with the help of Park.
The story is told from both the perspective of Park and the perspective of Eleanor. At first, it’s kind of easy to get confused as to who’s talking because it’s third person, but then, as you get to know more and more about each character, the confusion disappears.
The book is usually always set in one of four places: Eleanor’s house, Park’s home, on the school bus or in the gym locker room. I say Eleanor’s house as opposed to home because it’s clear she hates it; never would she call it her home because at home, you should feel at ease, and she doesn’t – she’s always worried about upsetting Richie, her foul stepfather.
You feel you really get to know both characters because they’re so lifelike. In that sense, the book is written beautifully and some of the words that come from the characters’ mouths are like silk, flowing.
The main themes explored are love and youth. It’s an insight into growing up, and how puppy love can be true love, a sweet, heartwarming message, I think.
What I didn’t like so much was how slow I felt the plot moved forward. I know lots of people would disagree with this, but, that’s just my opinion: some bits were dragged out. It was only really towards the end that the story’s pace quickened; I wanted to find out what happened next.
The end was a cliffhanger, but one I that left me with a flutter of hope. I’d like to know what Eleanor’s postcard said exactly, but, if I was to take a guess as to what those three words were, I’d say they were ‘I love you’. This leaves me hopeful because they’re young and still in love, so anything could happen.
I’d recommend this book to mature readers aged 13 up, but only those who are willing to give this book time to get going.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this review! Let me know you’re thoughts on Eleanor & Park if you’ve read it, and don’t forget to like this post and subscribe to The Book & Beauty Geek whilst you’re here! It’s free and anyone can do it; all you need to do is enter your email address, which is 100% secure, then whenever I publish a new post, you’ll be notified!