Book Reviews

Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


This book will make you remember what it’s like to be in high school. Rowell does a wonderful job of making the situations her characters face feel like real life. Small details bring you closer to them in the best way.


15745753Two misfits.
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.



3 or 4 KITTIES!


I’m kind of at a hang up on what to rate this. I just know I liked it a lot, okay?

I keep going between 3 & 4 stars! I really liked it, but had a few issues with some things. This book really captures being a high school student in a small town. Eleanor is dealing with some big things happening in her life and none of them are good, except for Park. Park is an average teenager with good parents, everything in his life seems okay, until Eleanor comes along.

“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.”

Rowell has a way with words, she can take you back to anytime in your life and it’s like you are there reliving what it’s like to be a teenager. She has a way of making everything real – so real in fact, you might think this was based on a true story.

This novel is completely character driven and most of the time those are my favorite kind of books.

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

Park was my favorite! He is so considerate and compassionate. He helps Eleanor in any way he can. Another of my favorites were Park’s parents. I really loved the dynamic of their family. Eleanor’s family is the polar opposite of Park’s family. I wanted to shake her mother in every scene! She pissed me off so much, just for her complete and utter inaction in her and her children’s lives. It broke my heart at how passive she was. Park’s mother would have beat Park’s dad with a rolled up newspaper if he got out of line. I think that’s why I like her so much better.

“If you can’t save your own life, is it even worth saving?”

The biggest hang up I had was the ending! It was just so… abrupt. I still have questions! I want answers. I need to know everything is going to be okay. I am definitely an epilogue kind of girl. I hate the unknown unless it feels wrapped up. Sometimes I don’t mind a really open ending.

Also, I just really love Rainbow Rowell’s name. It’s freaking RAINBOW for goodness sakes.

I know I’m way late reading this so what did y’all think?

Favorite characters?

What did you think of that shit ending? lol


8 thoughts on “Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I read this three years ago and all that I recall is that I was disappointed in it after Fangirl. There was something about it that rubbed me the wrong way and the only thing that comes to mind is that it was something about Eleanor. I didn’t give it a review on goodreads other than 3 stars, which I guess is not bad; but it wasn’t the 5 I gave Fangirl. I liked your review, btw. I am a little pleased to find that someone else didn’t find it to be the perfect read. I thought I was in the minority of 1. 🙂


  2. What did you think of the treatment of the Korean characters? I’ve heard from a couple people that Rowell didn’t research extensively enough and that there’s some internalized racism throughout. :/


    1. The book is set in high school in 1986 so there is themes of racism through the entire book, not just towards the Korean characters, but the African American characters as well. I think maybe Rowell took her own personal experience of high school and put that in the book she published. I like that she included those themes because she made the atmosphere seem more real. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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