Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: April 12th 2012
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Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.
Wow! What a year 2013 was for Rainbow Rowell. Eleanor and Park really put her on the most wanted list (in the best possible way) all over the reading world. Not only are the covers of her books extremely cute and adorable, but people talk about them like crazy. You know the saying curiosity killed the cat? I was curious and even though it wasn’t a total miss for me, I can’t exactly say that it was a hit either.
“I want everyone to meet you. You're my favorite person of all time.”
Eleanor and Park started off good and I was really pumped up to read it. The 3rd person POV isn’t my favorite in contemporary books (I prefer it to be left to fantasy/historical/PNR novels, though I'm not a big fan of it to begin with), however, it didn’t bother me that much. It kind of just.. didn’t let me connect with Eleanor and Park on a very personal level. While I did care about their struggles, I didn’t get emotional over any of the stuff. Ok, I did feel something when Park’s mom started to come around on the topic of Eleanor and gave Park a present for her. That was all though. The ending? The so-much-talked-about postcard? It did nothing for me.
There were a few things that I liked. For instance, how the characters weren’t your typical teenagers and just star-crossed lovers of sorts, but it had a lot going on—in addition to being teenagers with raging hormones, this book discussed the topic of racism, poverty, mental and physical bullying and violence, types and sizes, the norms of the society and originality that pushes [what is considered] the norm’s limits. I liked how music was combined into everything in this novel. Most of all, I loved Park’s family. The parents reminded me mine in many ways—me and my sister have had to follow certain rules and we were grounded for a few major slip-ups, but mostly, our parents understood that we were bound to make some mistakes. If we explained our problems, worries and actions, they usually understood the importance and just as Park’s dad at the end of the novel, they encouraged us to do better and try to fix what was broken.
I’m really struggling to write this review. I don’t know what to say because this book didn’t really pull any emotions out of me. It tackled important issues and it wasn’t bad, but I just don’t feel like it was as special for me as it was to some people. It didn’t whisper beautiful words to me or talk to me in a special Only-for-me language. Was it cute? Yes. It was hopeful, thoughtful and all that jazz, but I don’t really have any strong feelings I want to share. I'm fairly certain this is the case of "it's me, not the book". So I'm keeping this review short and saying that hype really didn’t live up to my expectations. I’m still ever-excited to read Fangirl and I’m positive that this book will whisper words of wisdom and swoon in my ear.
Overall rating: 2.0 out of 5.0