Eleanor & Park- Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis (from amazon)

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she’s never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried. Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and – in Eleanor’s eyes – impossibly cool, Park’s worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by. Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true – an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.


There are so many reviews of Eleanor & Park out there that I almost feel that something original cannot be said. Do have a look at the reviews at the bottom for more detailed or different reviews. I tend to go with feelings rather than any real analysis.

So Eleanor & Park. After Attachments I expected to enjoy it, I didn’t expect better because it’s YA and I only usually read YA when I just want to read without thinking. As a more relaxing, easy read. It was on offer for the kindle though, so I thought I would give it a try. Actually I think it was better than Attachments. It was maybe in some ways less adult but it was less superficial I think. Especially from Eleanor’s side of the story.

I got Eleanor. The escapism. the shyness. The uncertainty. I was like her a lot in school. Whilst not having a bad time of it as she does; at home or at school, I could identify more with how she felt at times.

In a sense she was saved by Park. Una @ Watching the Words (see her review below) says it’s anti-feminist. Well maybe, but I don’t see that. It’s just another form of escapism. He facilitates so much of her escapism. The comics, the music. Why can’t he be a form of escapism himself? Does she need him? Maybe not. She ultimately helps herself. He makes it better though. He makes it easier. That’s not about him ‘saving’ her. It’s not about him being a boy. It’s about love. She doesn’t want that to end, of course she doesn’t.

I can’t say I liked Park so much. He grew on me. He understood more about life as he went through.

Yes this is a story about love, but it’s more than that. It’s a story about hope. It’s a story about overcoming bad things in life. It’s a story about finding yourself, and believing in yourself.


Also can I add I love the Rainbow Rowell US covers, the British not so much. Plus this one represents the book much better on the US version

Buy it:

Kindle (£1.49)- until 6th May only
Paperback (£5.59)
Hardback (£14.26)

Other reviews:

If I (somehow!) missed your review post a link in comments and I will add it here.


Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Romantic, YA

11 responses to “Eleanor & Park- Rainbow Rowell

  1. There are a lot of reviews of this out there, but it’s always nice to have another one. Thank you for that. And maybe it’ll be your review that tips me into trying to read this again.


  2. It’s very popular. In a way that’s bad when you’re reading it, because you expect it to be amazing. Hopefully you do like it if you read it though


  3. I just recently read this one and I really enjoyed it. I’m not too into YA because sometimes I feel like the books don’t really capture the mindset of teens, but this book was so different! I think a lot of girls are going to connect with Eleanor.


  4. una231

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book more than I did! 😛 Sorry you disagreed with my review – I think my opinion is quite an unpopular one, to be honest. I’ve read many more positive views than negative ones, but I guess it just didn’t appeal to me.


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