Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell

Summary: "Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
''I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

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.
I've mentioned before that I'm going through a mega reading funk right now, and I really can't remember the last time I finished a book (the last review I posted on here was probably the last one - 5th of March?). I keep starting them, getting 30-50 pages in then I just can't go any further.

But this one? I couldn't stop reading - I stayed up until 5am reading it cover to cover. It's one of those books I've been searching for, one of those ones that leave me feeling all wow while I'm reading and I loved it. I'd rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars (closer to 5).

The book didn't have a spectacular plot or anything, it was just a love story set in the 80's. What made it special though was the execution of it.

The characters... I loved the characters. They were funny and adorable and sometimes said stupid things and felt realistic because of it, and their love story was sweet and it was convincing (there was none of that pesky insta-love nonsense going on in this one), definitely one of the most convincing romances I've read in a long time. 

It was a dual narration. It alternated between Park and Eleanor and (if anyone has been reading my reviews for a while) you know how much that normally bugs me, but I loved that in this because I loved both characters equally and I always wanted to know what was going on with both of them so the switches in POV were welcomed instead of an annoyance.

And, another awesome thing was that it didn't shove parents and families out of the picture to make way for the romance like so many books with a romance focal point tend to do (and all of their characters were really well done too).

The only thing about the book that I wasn't crazy about was the ending. It was far from bad, and it wasn't just because I didn't love how things turned out - something about it just felt lacking, like it didn't have as much of an impact as the rest of the book did, but it was still pretty well done (one of the things that happens, you realise that there's been hints at it throughout the book that you might not realise until the end when it's pointed out to you and I really like when that happens).

This review is a bit rambling and all over the place (but, I did just spend the entire night in an airport, so I'll blame being sleepy), but basically, the book didn't just remind me what it was like to fall in love with a book, it reminded him what it was like to fall in love with reading and that is exactly what I need to snap me out of this funk I'm in right now (hopefully it worked).

Oh, and before I shut up, I have another recommendation for anyone who likes this book or is interested in reading it or...just anyone really: My Mad Fat Diary. British TV show, it's only 6 episodes long but it has a similar kind of charm as this does. The characters are very different, but the romance is one of those unconventional ones like this one, the characters love music, it's set in the 90's (this book was set in the 80's). It's really good.

Later.

2 comments:

  1. I was so blown away by this book and I love seeing that it charmed you and so many other people.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, I have had the same problem getting into a book lately. It seems that you start off forcing through the book and start loosing interest after a couple of chapters. I will check this book out after reading this review. Thank you very much for the great review!

    ReplyDelete

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