Title: Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:
AMAZING. This book talks about something that seems so simple, but the way it was written, the way the characters’ feelings were portrayed, the way the story played out… it was just so freakin’ awesome. I love the fact that Eleanor and Park just connect with each other. Eleanor has a ton of problems with her family - her dad left them, her stepdad is abusive, and she can’t even have a good, honest relationship with her mom. She’s so brave to withstand Richie’s (her stepdad) abuse, but I feel sad that she has such a hard time at home and is only bullied more at school. Fortunately, she finds somewhat of an escape when she’s with Park. She’s usually insecure about how she looks, but I love how those things - her hair, her size - are what makes Park like her even more.
Park, on the other hand, is tired of hearing his dad telling him to man up, because he’s doesn’t care about that stuff. There’s even a point where he starts wearing eyeliner to school, and that makes me look up to him even more, because he’s just so comfortable in his own skin. He takes it upon himself to protect Eleanor in whatever way he can, and that’s nice. He may sometimes say the wrong things, but it’s clear that he always has good intentions.
Eleanor and Park demonstrate what pure, true love is all about. They are two people who remain selfless and strong for each other amidst everything. Eleanor knows how disastrous a relationship can end up being - her messed up family is a constant reminder of that. But when it comes to Park, she doesn’t care. They make each other happy and all tingly with something as simple as holding hands, and I think that’s super sweet and cute. They do their best to not let difficult situations tear them apart, and I admire the kind of maturity they already have at just sixteen years of age.
Now, normally I wouldn’t have liked the ending, but something about this one actually made me smile and fall in love with the book even more. There were some areas left unresolved, like what happened with Eleanor’s family, but I guess that’s okay, because the rest of the story was pretty damn good.
Rowell’s Eleanor & Park is a beautiful novel about the kind of love that makes you fight for it despite knowing that the odds are stacked against you, the kind of love that gives you hope and happiness just thinking about it. If you haven’t already read it, I recommend that you do so as soon as possible! Chances are, you won’t regret it! ;)