Title: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Series: N/A

Genre: Young Adult

Published: February 26th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press (first published April 12th 2012)

Rating: 3/5 stars ★★★

“She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” 

SYNOPSIS:

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

MY REVIEW:

3 of 5 stars to Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

★★★

An apology is in order for fans of this book. I’m going to tell you upfront: I wasn’t impressed with this. By the 3-star rating, it would have been obvious but I just didn’t want any hurt feelings because I’m aware this book has amassed a great many lovers.

You may be tired of hearing this same old excuse but it’s the only one I’ve got for Eleanor & Park: “It’s not you, it’s me”.

I read this last year and by that time, I was already past the point of indulging young adult contemporaries. They just don’t do it for me any more. I’m still crazy for the genre but only those along the lines of fantasy — more flavor there.

Anyway, my reading experience had both high and low moments. Majority of the book was bland but the latter chapters were exciting!

Eleanor annoyed me a bit (her indecision, secrecy and self deprecation but mostly her passive attitude). Park as well — his judgmental ways, shallow traits — but I guess that’s what makes them “young.”

Both of them are so ‘weird’ that they became so normal to me, if you get what I mean. It’s almost as if the author compiled all the quirky “minority” traits she could find and put them in both her leads. That’s good but when you’ve read a lot of these scenarios in other YA books, it gets boring.

Weird is the new normal. That’s the YA motto. It has reached a point that when the characters in a YA novel are average or normal, it feels refreshing.

However, this book is definitely worth something for young readers because it teaches the value of empathy. It opens eyes to some realities sheltered children don’t get to see. If I had a tween, I would want him/her to read this.