Eleanor & Park is about two star-crossed teenagers, Eleanor and Park- who- despite knowing first love almost never lasts, were still brave enough to try. This book reminds us of our good old days at 16, when we thought falling in love was the best feeling ever.
Rating: 4.5/5 (Click for rating system)
I’m a member of several book markets on Facebook and I’ve seen Eleanor and Park being sold and looked for so much, that I thought I should try it. you know, get to know why. Yes, I’m a bandwagon reader.
Full Review (no spoilers)
Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”-John Green, The New York Times Book Review
And I couldn’t have said it any better than John Green.
Normally, I don’t read books that seem to have no interesting plot (no viral plagues, hamartia of sorts etc.) But Eleanor & Park, despite having no intense climax was different. The book is written in such a way that it makes you turn the pages, yet also hesitate to because you know you’ll be closer to the ending and you won’t know what to do with your life anymore afterwards. That’s what I felt reading through Rowell’s Eleanor & Park.
Reading through the book and how the story progresses takes me back to my 16 year old days- young and eager. Everything felt as if love is unstoppable. You enjoy every moment as if it’s the best feeling out there.
What I love best in the book is the protagonist. Eleanor… she does not have any outstanding characteristics compared to other YA novels that seem to shower theirs with every possible thing. She’s pretty much average. Like you want to imagine yourself as the protagonist, and feel yourself in the book you’re reading. Which honestly, is difficult to achieve. The story is unique and feels real. It tackles love, life, and family situations. But Rowell writing style makes a pretty cliche teenage story feel real and alive.
Each scene does not feel like it’s been stitched up to reach another point. It doesn’t feel like any of the characters have to do A to get to point B where it leads to the *inevitable* situation C. The whole book, somehow, just comes to be. And that’s what makes me love it.
The pacing is slow. But it doesn’t feel the bad kind of slow because each word sings. Like each word has a purpose and not just to prolong the wait or add up to word counting.
Probably what I only found missing in this book is Park’s looks. I can’t get myself to imagine how he looks like because there weren’t much, although Eleanor had a very visual description throughout.
The ending (when you read it you’ll know what I mean) does not feel like it’s hanging at all. Like the ending was just right for what it is and it doesn’t need any more sequel, or at least, I think so, because forcing one might feel like it was just for the sake of it.
I recommend reading the book, especially for those who are a little lost in life and wants to time travel into our childhood days. If you’re a fan of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, then this is something you should read too.