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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- book review: Escapism in a Corny Tale of Two Misfits's Lives

Updated on March 15, 2017

It all started when I was looking for some good books to read. I browsed through one of the websites where you can purchase books online and as I was looking through the best-selling book section, this particular book catched my attention straight away. The tittle of the book is “Eleanor & Park”. It is a young adult novel written by Rainbow Rowell and published in 2013. To be completely honest, I don't usually find this kind of book fascinating to read. But I thought, as everything has an exception, why not this one?


The story follows dual narratives its two main characters, Eleanor and Park, two misfits living in Omaha, Nebraska and was set in 1986. Eleanor is a full-figured sixteen-year-old girl with crazy, bright red and curly hair. Park is a half-Korean sixteen-year-old boy who is quite, careful and kinda cool. They meet on a school bus on Eleanor's first day at her new school. With Eleanor's always mismatched outfit like a man's shirt with half a dozen weird necklaces hanging around her neck and scarves wrapped around her wrists, she manages to catch Park's attention. And from there, their journey begins.

The story developes through their connection of comic books like The X-Man and Batman, late-night conversations, and mixtapes of 80's music like “How Soon Is Now and This Charming Man" by The Smiths, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, and other cool singers/bands. Slowly and steadily, through it all they create a spark that ignites a love story which later on involves friendship, problem in family, hatred, anxiety, help, hard and instant decision, domestic abuse, child abuse, bullying, body image, and of course love, their kind of love. Their ride is funny and so moving, two against the world kinda story, and over all : lots of things, which we found or not found in real life.


Let me tell you something. I never had my love story like Eleanor & Park had when I was 16 years old. But the amazing thing is I could picture it just well enough, how it really was like to be 16 and found your matched one, fell in love the way people did for the first time, when you had nothing and everything to lose. And maybe it would be like an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.

Lastly, I highly recommend this book because I honestly did enjoy and loved reading it. I'm also glad that I happened to find this book so I can put “Eleanor and Park” on my bookshelf in my own library.



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