Eleanor & Park - YA Review by AJ G

Reader: AJ G
Age: 17
Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub Date: 02/26/13
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I'm just gonna give a disclaimer here; this book is incredibly depressing. With that out of the way, here are all the reasons I loved it. Eleanor is an incredibly likeable, no, loveable character. Her life is just so messed up that you can't not root for her. You want something, anything to go right for her. Which is where Park comes in. Park is an average teenage boy, but he doesn't quite fit into his life, which is something I'd bet good money that all teenagers have felt. The love between them is just so natural and effortless. It's awkward, and it's not perfect. Which makes it perfect for the reader. Because love isn't perfect and easy. It's awkward. All the time. This was just so refreshing in a YA book, to not have it be forced down your throat. Beyond that, I thought the dialogue, voice, and character development were spot on.
Memorable or Forgettable: I think the romance is what makes this the most memorable. Even if the actual interactions between Eleanor and Park are awkward and a little bumbling, it's obvious that they love each other deeply. The way that they think of each other just has this completely natural feel, which helps you forget that it's not happening to you, and I think that's the mark of a truly wonderful book.
Cover:  I didn't really like the cover. I think it reveals absolutely nothing about the contents, and is actually rather misleading. It doesn't show the depressing nature of the story, and kind of makes me think of Nick and Norah, which is almost the complete opposite. I get that it's appealing, but I personally didn't like it.
Age Range: 16 through 18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it
Annotation: They had never met before, but they knew on some level that this was it. What everyone talked about. Loooooooove. And right when they needed it most. Eleanor and Park will break your heart in the best way possible.

tags:  romance / abuse / bullying / BFYA nominee / ya lit

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