eleanor & park
author : rainbow rowell
pages : [hardcover] 325
favorite characters : eleanor & park!
memorable quote : 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.
“Bono met his wife in high school,” Park says.
“So did Jerry Lee Lewis,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be,” she says, “we’re sixteen.”
“What about Romeo and Juliet?”
“Shallow, confused, then dead.”
”I love you,” Park says.
“Wherefore art thou,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be.”
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book so of course I needed to pick it up, though I was a little wary about it. I usually stay away from contemporary novels because I have enough of real life already and I’ve been really disappointed before. I also knew I’ve found a few really greatly characterized ones before that I’ve ended up loving completely so sometimes that risk is really worth it. The benefit sometimes of not having a fantastical setting means we get to know the characters even more! Eleanor and Park were no exception.
I knew as soon as I was through the first few chapters that I was hooked and shouldn’t have doubted all of those fantastic reviews of praise that got me to look into this book. I still can’t decide between them to say which of them is my favorite. They both have their quirky sides as well as the vulnerable, the strong, the weaknesses. All piled together it seems like maybe they couldn’t work together but, really, they’re just completely adorable and wonderful in every scene they spend talking to each other.
By the end of the book I just couldn’t put it down because I wanted to know what was going to happen. Everything that had escalated through the book came to a climax that I wasn’t expecting at all. There was the plot twist I never saw coming, then everything that led up to the first chapter from Park’s point of view that was obviously coming from after the bulk of the book was taking place.
I really don’t think that I can say enough good things about this book. There’s friendship, hope, love, and trust. There are two fantastic leading characters who each take their turn narrating the novel and showing what their lives are like both alone and with the other title character. There are great secondary characters and there’s a fantastic setting and plot. Just read it, okay?