Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: Already out - has been for a little while. Should be available at your library or book shop!

Synopsis: "Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.
Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor...never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose."

My thoughts: I'm just going to take a moment here and talk about the covers for this book - the one you see above is the one on the paperback edition I received from Hachette. There's also another one for the hardback edition, which is equally as gorgeous. I love the simplicity of these covers! Just beautiful.

Onto the book. I read this in one sitting. Sitting still for that long took a little effort, but reading this didn't. Rainbow Rowell just has this amazing ability to make you fall in love with her characters as they fall in love with each other - yes, they are cute, but they also deal with some real issues. In this book (and I will try not to give too much away) the question of remaining in an abusive relationship is raised, and what to do when that happens. I know a lot of people would say 'no question - get out of there', and that's all well and good to say that, but I really believe that you don't know how you'll act until (god forbid) you're IN the situation in question. I think Rowell addresses this issue in a real way, if in a way that is a little lighter than you'd expect.

I have to admit that I think I related to this book so much because the two main characters are an Asian guy and a Caucasian girl, and they both bond of nerdy things. It reminded me somewhat of myself and Xin, and so I must admit to being a little biased towards this book for that reason. But I maintain that Rowell just creates characters that are so wonderful to read, and the story is such a wonderful accompaniment, that I find it really hard to put her books down when I start reading them. Heck, I just picked up this book to read a few passages to refresh my memory, and I got sucked in quite instantly. I've read her other book, Fangirl, twice already and want to read it a third time. I have been trying desperately to hold myself back from reading Landline, her most recent book, for a while now so I can finish other books. I know that once I pick it up, I will be lost.

Eleanor and Park is just a gorgeous story that will leave you wanting more of Rowell's work. I hope that, if you choose to give it a go, you enjoy it as much as I did.

I received a review copy of this book from Hachette.

You would like this book if: you like cute romances with a bit of serious stuff thrown in; you feel like a comforting read.

Rating:  10/10

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