Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Buy It! amazon
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
First Thoughts: Love! Love! Love! I cannot get Eleanor and Park (the characters) out of my head. I mean, seriously, my heart aches for them. This is a beautiful book that made me laugh, sigh, think, and cry. Love!
I don’t really know how to write this review, because I know whatever I say, it’s not going to do this book justice. Really though, I’ve been staring at this screen for a while and I’m just not sure how to put my emotions into words.
I guess I can start there - emotions. This book was extremely emotional for me; not in that I cried a lot (just teared up a few times), but in the range of emotions I felt. I found myself laughing out loud, which earned me some weird looks from my husband and dog. there were also points when I just couldn’t stop smiling, even when I wasn’t reading. These two characters are just too darn cute - their awkwardness, innocence, and love was just beautiful. Multiple times I just had to book down, lay my hands on it, close my eyes, and revel in the story. Rainbow Rowell’s writing? Holy cow! It connected to my soul (I know that sounds exaggerated, but I’m dead serious).
If you read this blog at all, you know I am all about the characters - Eleanor and Park might be two of my favorite characters of all time. Eleanor is perfect and she doesn’t even know it. For her to be as real, humble, and compassionate as she is after the homelife she’s grown up in: astonishing. I just wanted to reach into the book, adopt her, and keep her safe with me. And then there’s Park, a boy just trying to be himself without disappointing his father. He’s strong and weak all at the same time. Plus, he has one of my favorite fictional sets of parents of all time (the makeover part...loved it!).
This is a love story, but I’d hate to classify it as a romance. It’s about coming of age, finding out who you truly are, and overcoming the obstacles life puts in your way. Oh, and, I loved the music references - what a great thing to build a relationship around! Here are two of my favorite lines of the book (Rowell’s writing is WOW):
“Holding her hand was like holding a butterfly or a heartbeat, like holding something complete and completely alive.”
“When Eleanor smiled, something broke inside of me. Something always did.”
I know my words don’t convey the power of this book, so all I can’t tell you is just read it; I can promise you won’t be disappointed. It’s one of my favorite books of 2013 and quite possibly one of my favorite books ever!
Final Thoughts: I actually had to take a mini reading break after finishing this book, because I just couldn’t move on from this story. So good! If you haven’t read it, do it. Now.
Who Should Read It? If you like reading, read this book. In fact, even if you don’t like reading, read this book. Simple as that (seriously).