Bingeing on ‘Eleanor & Park’ by Rainbow Rowell

Before I completely gush about this FANTASTICALLY AMAZING contemporary young adult novel, here’s a blurb so you have an idea of what it’s about.


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.

Okay, so that’s a really short blurb but you get the picture.

This is one of those books that is hard to describe in a review because it just gives you that feeling.  That hard to pinpoint feeling that only very special novels can give you.  Like, I wanna weave a BFF bracelet for me and this novel to wear because I felt like it just really spoke to me.  But alas, books don’t have wrists.  Also they aren’t people.

‘Eleanor & Park’ touches on everything.  First love, race, social class, bullying and it’s FUNNY.  These are heavy issues and Rowell’s wit really balanced that out.  Now that I’ve said that I need to say something about the romance.  THE ROMANCE, PEOPLE.  Read this…

Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.

and this….

“Nothing, really. I just want to be alone with you for a minute.”

He pulled her to the back of the driveway, where they were almost completely hidden by a line of trees and the RV and the garage.

“Seriously?” she said. “That was so lame.”

“I know,” he said, turning to her. “Next time, I’ll just say, ‘Eleanor, follow me down this dark alley, I want to kiss you.'”

This love story is so pure and so innocent.  High school kids will eat this up.  Adults will eat this up.  Seriously, it’s definitely at crossover status.

Another quick note I want to make is about the fact that it’s set it the 80’s.  Music is definitely a big factor in this book and it almost feels like another character.

There’s a reason this is at the top of all the best books of 2013 lists.

5 out of 5 stars

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