Eleanor & Park is a first love story. It takes you back to a time when you feel awkward and insecure and weighed down by the pressure to fit in. There are some underlying issues that play a role in the story, but mostly it's about love and acceptance.
I loved the title characters. They were written perfectly. Every flaw, every thought. All their likes and dislikes. The humiliations and triumphs. I was in high school all over again. Eleanor and Park are both very likable and relatable characters. They're not perfect, but they're so real. It's always refreshing to find characters who aren't the most popular or are conventionally beautiful. They got seated together on the bus on Eleanor's first day of school, and while that first "meeting" was awful, they were eventually drawn towards one another and formed a special bond. I can't give up too many details without spoiling the whole story, but there were so many scenes that I fell in love with. Comic books, mixed tapes, makeovers. I thought the contrast between their parents and home lives was substantial and gave depth to their relationship and to the characters themselves. I also loved how Eleanor/Park would see herself/himself in a certain way, but through the opposite character's eyes, she/he looked completely different/better. It reminds me of that song in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella: "Do I love you because you're beautiful? Or are you beautiful, because I love you?" I love that song, by the way.
After finishing Eleanor & Park, I am now thoroughly convinced that anything Rainbow Rowell writes will be golden. She is definitely an author whose works I will be following. Love love loved!!!
5 out of 5 Stars
Review by Mary Munar
Side note from Jenn: OMFG I LOVED this book. I keep refreshing Rainbow's website for more tidbits. Fortunately, she has another book coming out and wow, if I am not geeking over it. It's called FaNGIRL and it comes out Fall 2013. Add it to your goodreads. This is one author you're going to want to follow. Fan for life, I need more!!
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Author: Rainbow Rowell - follow her on Twitter.
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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When you finish reading E&P, make sure you check out Rainbow Rowell's website for some really cool stuff. For now, here's a YOUTUBE video of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division.
Ok, so we LOVED E&P so much that we want give one of you lucky readers a chance to win a copy of this book! Thanks and good luck!
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