Eleanor and Park - by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor and Park

"Exceptional writing style that really brings the reader into the story and pull on our heart strings"

Eleanor and Park is unique tale of teenage love with striking characters set in the 1980s. The modernistic style of writing is great, comparable to 500 Days of Summer. However, it is not your average tale of high school romance. The story begins with the ending, confusing the reader but keeping their interest throughout the book. Also, Rowell switches narrators every chapter or so to accurately giver both points of view.

Eleanor has just moved into a small town where everyone knows everyone (since kindergarten). She stands out like a sore thumb with her bright red, unruly hair and her odd sense of fashion. Park has grown up in the town and is considered average, nothing special. When they meet on the bus, it is clear that this is definitely not love at first sight. Park pities Eleanor for being so different because he knows how peers will react. He also hates her for doing this to herself. However, he lets her sit by him. Their relationship develops slowly in a way one could see actually happening. Eleanor and Park share a unique connection to music, which builds the foundation to their relationship. Park lends Eleanor comic books before they even start communicating verbally.

Eleanor faces many problems at home, making the story even more realistic and heartbreaking. She has other siblings that her motherís boyfriend, whoís also a drunk, can barely support. Park discovers that he can be himself with Eleanor, to the displeasure of his parents. His parents find Eleanor odd, and not the type of person they see their son with. His father wants Park to be manlier like his younger brother and Eleanor is certainly not helping. His mother hates how Eleanor dresses and acts, so she gives her a makeover. This is all humorous until Parkís mom finds out Eleanorís living situation and takes pity on her. Their relationship is not without trials and tribulations, but these experiences contribute to Park and Eleanor falling in uncertain but true love.

Even though her relationship with Park is going well, Eleanor still struggles at home. She finds a way to escape and Park helps her, leaving their relationship on a cliffhanger as the book drifts to a close.

Rainbow Rowell does a fantastic job with her exceptional writing style that really brings the reader into the story and pull on our heart strings. By the end, one really feels as if they really know both Eleanor and Park. The insight to their minds in incomparable and makes the reading experience that much better. I definitely recommend Eleanor and Park (or any Rainbow Rowell) to any young adult, no matter the gender.

   - Blair W.

"One of the most beautiful things I've ever read"

Eleanor and Park is about a new girl Eleanor and quiet Park during their sophomore year of high school in 1986. Eleanor is the definition of mismatched. She dresses weird, acts mean, has a terrible family, and isn't very well liked by others. Park is the Asian kid living in a perfect household but a secret nerd that will do whatever he wants if he's passionate about it. Over the school year, they obviously fall in love through small things (giving comic books, mix tapes, etc). It's a first love you'll never forget.

I fell in love with the book when they first held hands. It's literally one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. It's a cute book, and it brings emotions out of you, which is what a really good book does. Eighties references are all over the place of course, which I love how it's set in a different time period than all these other love stories. This book is beautifully written, and I'm so glad that I read this book. I'll never forget it. It's an A++ in my book. The only thing I hated about it was her parents, but I usually hate every parent in every book.

I would recommend this to people who love realistic fiction, love stories, and music. I recommend it to girls more than guys because of the love story; however, I don't think that gets in the way of the book. I do want everyone to read this! This book is similar to Saving June (which is also fabulous).

   - Caleigh S.