Eleanor and Park | Rainbow Rowell

“I’m sorry about yesterday,” she said.. He hung on to his straps and shrugged. “Yesterday happens.”

Genre: Young Adult—Romance
Number of Pages: 328
Perspective: Alternating Third
Location: Nebraska

Eleanor and Park is the story of two misfits that seem to have nothing in common at first, and actually hate each other. But they find out that sometimes two misfits can fit perfectly together. For a complete summary, you can go here.

So before I talk about how much I loved this book, I want to do a little shout out to the Margin Project. I recently wrote a post about it, and this particular copy of Eleanor and Park happened to be a participant in my local library’s Margin Project. That basically means that all of the readers are free to write in the margins of the book. It was so amazing to make a solitary activity, like reading, into a social experience. When the book made me feel angry, distraught, heartbroken, hopeful, excited, etc. it was great to know that there were other people out there that felt the same way. 

This is one of those stories that put me through every emotion I have. That is what amazing books do, which is why this book earned my Best Book Award. Eleanor and Park are just brilliant characters. I think it is spectacular to have two socially awkward and strange humans find each other. It gives hope to all the people that feel out of place and alone. 

I also love how gender roles are very fluid in Eleanor and Park’s relationship. Sometimes Park is more feminine and sometimes Eleanor is more masculine. But it switches back and forth based on what the other one needs. It’s actually really refreshing. 

I also love how beautifully Rowell describes the awkwardness of being a teenager and the nervousness associated with a first love. Teenage relationships in real life aren’t all sexy and perfect like so many young adult books describe. They are strange, awkward, frustrating, confusing, and sometimes really wonderful. 

This isn’t a 100% happy story, so don’t expect that at all. There were times where I just wanted to cry for Eleanor, because even though she is a fictional character, I know that there are that girls go through horrendous situations like she did. Her home life is awful, her experiences at school are awful, and very few people take the time to appreciate who she is. 

I would recommend this book to anyone! I actually think that it would be an eye-opening read for anyone in high school, especially those who don’t always think about what other people may be going through. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

“Goodbye. Just tonight. Not ever.”

 5/5 Stars

Check out my review of Rowell’s other book: Carry On.

See the other recipients of the Best Book Award!

Do you agree? Disagree?