Hello again, lovely bookworms! This time, I have a review for you! Oh my, it has been a while since I wrote a review. Don’t blame me, blame college.
As you can see, I’m going to talk about a very heartbreaking book: Eleanor & Park!
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.
Eleanor & Park is a YA novel that is set during the 80s, with many cultural references, such as conversations about comic books (X-Men, Watchmen, etc.) and great bands. It’s a lovely book, very innocent, but also full of sadness and sorrow.
The plot focuses on two characters, Eleanor and Park. Eleanor is a fat girl with red hair, and she has a very complicated family life. She is bullied by colleagues and she doesn’t like herself very much. She is a very insecure girl, since she is aware of her differences when she is compared to others. She dresses in a very peculiar way, since she is poor and has to wear male clothes that are already old.
Park is a half Korean, half American guy. he kind of has a normal family, even though he has some problems with his parents, but they are, like, the usual teen problems. Not that I’m underestimating that because, after all, I am also a teenager and I understand Park’s problems and issues. He loves comics and music, and that’s how he mets Eleanor, who was a new student at his school. Eleanor started reading his comic books when they went together on the bus and Park decided to talk to her about her interests. In that moment, therefore, we could see a very beautiful, charming and funny friendship starting to grow, which would turn into a fascinating relationship, full of good, cute moments, full of bad moments as well. They face their problems together, they help each other. They suffer together, laugh together. Theiy love each other so much. “Two misfits. One extraordinary love.” How not to love a novel like this one?
So, what more can I say about the characters? I really loved how the author built them. They seemed so real, as if the author had written this novel based on a true story. They are characters that make us smile for their tenderness, that make us cry for the suffering they do not deserve. They have become my friends. Except Eleanor’s stepfather, of course. He’s really bad.
I loved to meet Eleanor. I identify myself a lot with her, since I’m also fat. It made me feel good to read a character who goes through the same experiences as me: the insecurities, the fears. I’m also like her when she talks about the things she loves. She’s a very sweet girl and her life made my heart feel heavy. For me, she is the most well-built character in the novel. We see a little of everything: her problems with herself, her problems with her colleagues, her problems with her boyfriend, her problems with her family. I really enjoyed to see her grow and make the right decisions for her.
Park also won my heart because he is a very charming young man. His heart is so pure and he’s so selfless. He’s really a sweetheart. I liked to see him talking with his parents and I loved the little things he did with Eleanor, for Eleanor, how he touches lightly on the palm of her hand and her red curls. I really liked when he would go with her to her locker and stand against the wall to admire her. I repeat, he is a sweetheart.
The other characters are also very real. The life story of Eleanor’s mother is very touching. She sacrificed, and sacrifices, so much for the sake of her children. Eleanor’s father is barely around and her stepfather is a demon. This is another aspect that I liked Eleanor’s character building: Rainbow Rowell focused a lot on Eleanor’s family life, especially on the issue of domestic violence and its consequences in a family. These details made this novel even more appealing, more authentic.
The writing is very simple and jovial. We see that the author loves writing for teens, but adults can still read her books, of course. It is a very catchy writing since it’s very simple and genuine. The author is able to create magnificent quotes like this: “Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something”. As you can see, I sighed a lot while I read this magnificent book.
Here you can see many wonderful quotes from this novel. I took this image from Pinterest, by the way:
In conclusion, Eleanor & Park is a story filled with moments of humor and pain, smiles and tears. A very touching romance with fascinating characters, that make us feel everything and anything intensely. It is a book with a very important message: “Love is a superpower”.
If you have read this beautiful book, please let me know! Also, let me know if you liked this review! See you soon!!