Book Review – Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park
By Rainbow Rowell
St Martin’s Press
Rating: ****

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.

Eleanor & Park is not something I would have chosen to pick up from reading the blurb. But my friend told me it’s a beautiful teen love story and I needed something light for my holiday. I read this in one afternoon. I LOVED IT!!!!

Eleanor is new to the area, her family have moved again because of the trouble her “step father” brings. She is nervous on her first day because everyone already has their seat on the bus. No one will want her to sit next to anyone because she has big curly red hair, she isn’t slim and she wears a unique style of clothing. But Park sees her on the bus with no where to sit. He thinks she looks weird but moves over and lets her sit there. He will never have to speak to her or look at her. But one moment changes everything and then he is glad that he moved over that day on the bus.

The book is so wonderful, all about teenage awkwardness, not just with relationships but social status in school, abusive backgrounds, family life, bullying, self confidence, intelligence, fun, this book covers it all and in such a beautiful way. Although this was a very quick read for me and it’s very light, in a lot of ways its a dark book too. Eleanor’s home life is awful! She shares a bedroom with multiple brothers and sisters, her mum is being abused mentally and physically by her boyfriend. He is angry a drunk and a nasty person. Eleanor hates him but she’s scared of him. She doesn’t want anyone to see her home life and how poor her family are especially Park.

As their relationship blooms of course there are bumps in the road, not every relationship is perfect, but Eleanor & Park are the cutest sweetest couple and what I loved about it is you got to hear from both sides, you read some chapters in Eleanor’s perspective and some of Park’s Each chapter was pretty small so was very easy to get hooked and read loads very quickly.

If you want a sweet coming of age story that has depth this is for you. I really, really enjoyed this book and loved how it ended even though it did make me a little sad. Such a sweet story with wonderful characters, I literally couldn’t put it down. I can imagine this would make a lovely film as well.

Have you read this? Or anything else by Rainbow Rowell that I should pick up? 
Thanks for reading. Katie x

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