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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - review

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

Title: Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: Orion
Source: Purchased from Kindle Store
Available: Now
Buy it: Here

Synopsis

Eleanor and Park meet on the bus to school. It is the beginning of everything neither of them ever knew they needed. And they do. They need it. Escape and understanding...
But how will the two kids who don't belong fare in the world of high school? And will it be any easier at home, either?

Review

Where to even begin with Eleanor and Park... I knew it would be good - the waves of love for this story and these characters are almost unfaltering. I just didn't realise just how MUCH good I was letting myself in for.

Eleanor and Park is the simplest of stories, in essence. Boy meets girl, they are both from different worlds, but they complete each other. They love like no one ever could love, and they feel each moment more than anyone could feel. But then, THEN... there are these characters. These beautifully subtle, unique and unforgettable characters. Simultaneously tragic and triumphant, too-good and continually faulted. Eurgh, it shouldn't even be possible, but Rainbow Rowell has written people so real it's hard to believe that they are not. Eleanor could have lost an eye lash, and I'd have wanted to know.

The narrative is engrossing as you care so much for the outcome of this couple, and for Eleanor and Park individually too. Eleanor faces a home life that is absolutely awful - while Park struggles with his identity as a korean kid who likes eyeliner in a massively traditional White American community. Both of these struggles are multiplied in importance when placed against a backdrop of the mid eighties, a decade less accepting, but open the the emerging changes in society.

As for the emotional impact, Eleanor and Park packs feelings in like sardines. It's a rollercoaster of ups and downs, fears and excitements, always keeping the reader on their toes.Should I stop gushing now?!

Overall

Unbelievably cute and heart-string-tugging, Eleanor and Park is the first Rainbow Rowell novel I have read and I can say with complete conviction that it will not be my last. Utter YA perfection, these characters will live with you while you read about them, and you will never forget them. Highly, highly recommended.

Score 
★★★★

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