Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Eleanor & Park

Book: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Format: Hardcover
Own or borrow?: Borrowed from library
Published: February 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Two 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. [Via Goodreads]

The Good:
Eleanor was a strong character. She was realistic and it was easy to root for her. She was someone that I would like to know in real life. I wanted to give her a hug and tell her everything was going to be okay. She was smart and I loved the book from her perspective. 
Their relationship was fun and at times I really felt like it could really be true. Neither of them tried to purposely make the other mad. They worked together to make life easier for the other.
The ending. I think the ending was the strongest part of the book. I was so emotional at the end and I started crying and it was just a perfect way to end the book. I'm not sure how many other people like the ending, but I thought that it was more realistic than most other endings to books. I could easily see something like this happening in real life.
The book made me feel all emotions. Happy, sad, angry, confused, exhilarated, giddy, fangirly, and resentment. I may not have liked some parts of the book but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a wide range of emotions.
I loved the 80's references.
The character development.

The Bad:
There were a few parts in this book where I really cringed at how the characters were described. Park was the weak Asian kid and that's just stereotypical and I was uncomfortable about it. I also didn't like how the two black girls in the books were seen as ghetto almost. No one wanted to talk to them and they spoke differently than everyone else. 
Park was an asshole. I am still not sure how I felt about him. He made me mad more than anything else. I can't really even pinpoint exactly what he did anymore, but I just know that I wasn't too fond of his character.
I had a hard time believing their relationship (when I didn't love it.) It just seemed forced to me.
The book was just slow at times.

The Ugly:
The insta-love. Seriously, it was really weird to me how fast their relationship progressed. That's why it was hard to believe for me. No one falls in love that fast.
This should be in the good and the ugly because I liked this part of the book but it was ugly: her relationship with her step dad. Her step dad made me cringe and I hated him so much.

If you don't mind insta-love and you love a good story with great character development and realistic characters, this may be the book for you. Even though there were things that I didn't like, I'm still glad I read it and I hope Rainbow Rowell continues to write books. She's obviously very talented.