Review – Eleanor & Park

eleanor parkEleanor & Park

by Rainbow Rowell

I had a hard time reading this – all the young adult FEELS!  I had to put it down once in a while or I would get overwhelmed.  Oh my goodness.  I felt Eleanor’s embarrassment and awkwardness.  I didn’t have a home life like she did, nor was I picked on like she was, but holy cow.

Anyway, young love.  Awkward!  But SO DANG SWEET.  The point of view switches between Eleanor and Park, so you get the “he said, she said”, the full view of what is going in both of their lives and the immediacy of their thoughts.  It worked really well for me.

There are a lot of issues swirling in this book, abusive step-dads, red-headed step-children, peer pressure and bullying and major image issues.   Oh yea, and young love.  That is a big issue.  🙂  There is cursing, but let me tell you, I hung out with my 12 year old niece and she was using lots of “bad words”, kids flirt with becoming an adult and think that might be how.  I think it is also a rebellion thing for some.  It happens.  And there is some mean stuff with really nasty words.  So, this is for older teens, NOT for young ones or they will learn new things.  The romance is very sweet and fine for most ages as they go slow, mainly kissing and thinking and they get a little heavy petting once, but Rowell keeps it PG in that department.

It was lovely though, very realistic and quite a bit nostalgic as it takes place in the 80s.  So honestly, it felt like it was written for Gen Xers.  Though I hear younger generations like it very much as well.

If you like love stories, young love, YA books, books with issues and want to share the love experience and bullying issues with your older teen, this is a great book.  Don’t expect all daisies and sunshine, it is pretty gritty though not too descriptive, you get enough to understand what is happening.  Though it is sweet too.  I guess the beautiful love story juxtaposes the bad stuff, making both stand out more.

I can see why people love it, and can see why those people wanted to ban it from their kids.  Though I think people banning books are ostriches with their heads in the sand…I see why they got upset.  So you decide and let me know what you think.  I think she did a great job.  I look forward to getting my hands on Fangirl one of these days.  4 mixed tapes filled with all your favorite songs, making  you feel all those emotions you had while in high school.  Bring them out and play them while reading this book!

About ocdreader

I love to read! I always have a book or four going, I have more books in my to-be-read pile than I can read in a year and yet I continue to haunt the bookstores. I have a problem, but I somehow soldier on. I enjoy talking books, so pass on your recommendations and thoughts - I would love to hear them.
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13 Responses to Review – Eleanor & Park

  1. Gwynneth says:

    I think I liked your review more than the book! Somehow it didn’t resonate with me. And the ending was bitter-sweet.

    • ocdreader says:

      Like life, eh? 🙂 I can see how it would be a tough one, I seriously almost put it down a few times but I kept going because of all the hype. The hype didn’t make me enjoy it though, but once I just settled in (and my mom ruined the ending by “explaining” the book to my sister – stinker) I read it for what it was and enjoyed what is and isn’t there. AND I thought it was interesting how different the 80s are than today! All the issues and no neighbor jumps in!? That issue and the teacher can’t help out at all!? Crazy times.

      • Gwynneth says:

        Very true. I hadn’t connected those differences. We have become so politically correct I’ve almost forgotten the good old days!

  2. Cathyi says:

    Well, great review. I thought the book very well done

  3. This one is in my TBR for sometime now and reading your review makes me want to read it soon 🙂

  4. diannegray says:

    Those years can be really hard and sh*tty so I don’t really understand why parents aren’t keen for their kids to read books like this. I remember when Puberty Blues came out and caused a storm – now it seems tame! 😀

  5. beckyday6 says:

    Yay, I’m so glad you liked this and what a great review too. 🙂 I was impressed with Rowell’s Fangirl and this will definitely be the next book I pick up by her, I already own it. I can’t wait because most people seem to like this novel even more than Fangirl.

    So glad this one resonated with you!

  6. sandradan1 says:

    Sounds a bit young, but nice cover. SD

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