Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

5 stars


Buy it at: Amazon l BookDepository l Chapters/Indigo l Barnes&Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

My Non-Spoiler Thoughts

This book has officially made me want to read comic books and listen to old music that I had never heard of before. It made me want to scavenge my basement for an old cassette tape and possibly a record player. Not only did it do all of that, but it made me cry, it made me laugh, and it left me yearning for more. Three words to be exact. I’m not even going to include an “What I didn’t like” because there is nothing that I didn’t like. This entire review will just be me raving about it. You don’t even need to read the rest of it, just pick up the book and read it.

What I liked

I loved how real it all felt, like I was back in time going along this journey with the two MCs. And I loved how Eleanor felt the same way about Cyclops from X-Men as I did. I loved how it was told in two perspectives and yet I normally hate stories written that way, but it just seemed to work. I loved how the parents played a key role in the story.

I particularly loved how it touched a topic not many people fully understand. Eleanor’s mother is in an abusive relationship. I used to think it would be so easy if she had just left the guy, but after reading the book more, I understood why she didn’t leave so early. She is a mother with five kids to care for, if she wants them to have a semi-good upbringing staying with a man who can be hateful is her only bet. Money doesn’t come easy, and this was the only way she could assure her kids a roof over their house and food to eat. It just sucks that this was the way things had to be.

Then there’s Park’s family who I had thought coming into this were strict, but they’re just like any other loving family. Sure they can be a little unfair, with Park’s dad forcing him to learn to drive a stick-shift, but they do love Park.


This story touched so many deep topics from family abuse to bullying at school, it’s a book you just have to read to understand. It reminded me so much of Perks of Being a Wallflower, especially the many times I had cried whilst reading it. This whole review is just a plea that you read this book, that you step inside a world so diverse from your own, or even similar. Honestly, this book has been added to the shelf of books I will force my students to read (when I become a teacher). It’s a great book and story written so beautifully about two teens in love.

I would like to add that in the description it may call them star-crossed lovers, and you may say how can they be star-crossed no one is opposing them? But, star-crossed means the stars do not align for them to be together, it doesn’t necessarily mean that nobody wants them to get together, just that they aren’t meant to be. There can be other forces such as distance that can keep them apart.

3 thoughts on “Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books says:

    I mostly liked E&P. I wasn’t in love with the ending, but it seemed pretty realistic (maybe that’s my problem with it, I wanted it to be more idealistic) but still I hope that eventually there’ll be a sequel.

    Also, I totally agree with your use of star-crossed. That they definitely are.


    • Keely says:

      Maybe Rainbow has something up her sleeve, like maybe she’ll write a book where she’ll just place them in it casually so we can all find out whether they had ended up together in the end or not.


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