Thursday 17 October 2013

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus.
Park pressed his headphones into his ears.
Tomorrow he was going to bring Skinny Puppy or the Misfits. Or maybe he’d make a special bus tape with as much screaming and wailing on it as possible.
Published by Orion in February 2013
Pages - 327
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.
Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.
It took me a while to get into this book and I honestly don’t know why. Told from alternate view points, you are there to witness the delicate threads of first love, entwining these rather endearing, yet quirky characters together. By the end of the book I was in tears. I was completely emotionally involved in their lives and wanted a happy ending.
This book is set in the Eighties and I felt quite nostalgic reading about cassette tapes and music from that era.
Park and Eleanor are outsiders, standing on the edge of the popular crowd, separated from them  by the way they looked. I think I struggled with Eleanor to begin with. I found her cold and standoffish, but by the end of the book, I dearly loved her. She really had a lot to deal with at home.  Park appealed to me more and I adored his family, who were quite open with Park. They allowed him to fall in love in a mature way. The longevity of his parents love for each other was warming to the heart. The two kids come from very different backgrounds and it is interesting to compare and contrast their day to day lives.
These two characters never meant to fall in love. In fact, if you had probably told them it would happen beforehand, they were either have laughed or been completely grossed out by it. But fate and no room on the bus, brought them together. They started out as friends, quickly developing into love.
Anyone who has ever fallen in love, will be instantly transported back to the day it happened to them. Those strong emotions you have no control over; that intense need to spend every waking moment with that person. However, true love never runs smooth and this romance is no exception. By the end of the book, you are dealt some hard hitting issues and you start to panic about the future of these two teenagers.
This book is beautifully written and thought provoking. An ideal read for anyone who loves contemporary YA romance.


  1. I love this book. I love Rainbow Rowell's writing style. I love how she created such a real and different MC. Eleanor is so amazing and I seriously cried when I finally learned everything she was going through. I didn't like the ending very much, but it was very real and I can totally appreciate it.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books


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