BOOK REVIEW: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Oy! Did you miss me? While I've been gone... reading has happened. Finding time to write up the reviews means shifting priorities and my daughter is turning TWENTY-ONE so that requires planning... lots and lots of planning involving chocolate cake and Nightmare Before Christmas ornaments on black miniature Christmas trees. Oh yeah and steampunk outfits. Woohoo. All the fun happens here.

However, since reading the Holiday anthology I was in the mood for more Rainbow Rowell words. My daughter was reading Fangirl for the first time, and since I've reread that novel already -- I guess it was time to revisit the darlings Eleanor and Park. These two might seem like your stereotypical love birds but when you pair them with the honesty and raw emotion that comes in the forms of quips and glimpses into a past era that takes one back to when being young and in love didn't necessarily mean you were stupid or naive, true love conquers all feels a bit more plausible than other YA romances set in high school.

  • TITLE: Eleanor & Park 
  • AUTHOR(S): Rainbow Rowell 
  • SERIES: Stand Alone
  • PUB INFO: St. Martin's Press on 2/26/2013
  • ACQUIRED HOW? Purchased hardcover on Amazon, Received Special Signed Edition at Christmas, Purchased Kindle edition on Amazon
  • BOOK RATING: Going Bananas!

QUOTE ME: This book defies cliche and romantic entanglements. Loving is the easy part for Eleanor and Park. Figuring out how to love and show it is a whole 'nother set of problems. Intolerance, racism, typical high school hierarchies and family dynamics that are not what you think they are and a bit of mystery to the very end; drive this beyond YA romance fare and into heartbreakingly earnest, sweet, real, and just overall bittersweet but achingly lovely. Such perfection in every sentence!

What propels Rainbow's stories beyond what you expect is the surprisingly easy way she makes you laugh even as you realize Eleanor's circumstances are truly horrifying. Life doesn't stop for feelings or teen romance or slow down into the slow-mo close-ups that allows you to catch your breath and break down the moment. Realizations happen in a flash, sometimes so quick you have to run... and laugh... and discover that what we originally thought was wrong. We misjudged people and that's all in the space of maybe one chapter. Yeah... seriously, Eleanor & Park happens in real-time with surprisingly brutal pacing that makes it a fast read, but much like an emotional roller-coaster of fear - anger - sad - happy - empathy - shock - cheer - that switches up every other sentence or two. Yep. That quick.

So read fast, but don't miss a word in your haste, okay?! And then re-read because inevitably, blinking through the tears isn't conducive to a thorough read.


  1. I haven't read this one yet :-( Your review definitely makes me want to though!
    Will definitely try to pick this one up soon!

    Em @


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