I have FINALLY gotten my hands on this book, and if you have known me this past year, or have read my posts, you know how eager I was to read this. However, I was not as pleased with this novel as I expected to be. If you want to know all the reasons why, keep reading!
Rating : ☺☺☺☺☹ (more like 3.5/5)
Do I recommend it : Yes, however I do believe that Rainbow Rowell's other books are way better.
Would I reread it : No
Eleanor & Park is a story about first love and falling in love, despite knowing that it will not last. Eleanor comes from a dysfunctional family and has to hide it from her peers. She is considered ugly and overweight, and a misfit. Park, on the other hand, has a loving family who are happy and wealthy, but he doesn't fit in with the other kids either. No one, not even them, would've expected these two to fall in love, but... They do.
↙ What I didn't like about the book :
The whole story felt generic, especially the characters. Maybe it is because I've read so many Y.A. contemporary love stories that this one just felt like the others, but it did. It was a typical love story with ups and downs and the ending was somewhat predictable.
Eleanor was a character I could not appreciate. Not because she wasn't a good person; she really was. However, she was the summum of a "typical bullied girl" character, and it felt like Rainbow Rowell felt the constant need to remind us that she was not your average pretty girl.
I also found that Rainbow focused so much, but not enough on the other characters. They would always be present and would always be mentioned, however we knew nothing about them. In the end, nothing is fixed with the "antagonists" and we barely know what happened to them. Not that we should, but in the context of this story particularly, I think that the readers needed closure, and we would've gotten closure if she had continued the book for a few more pages.
↗ What I liked about the book :
Rainbow Rowell's writing style will never fail me. She has a way with words and will always manage to keep you interested in the book, all the while choosing the right words for various situations. Her words are never too childish and always have the right amount of maturity in them. Rainbow is definitely not one to make you cringe while reading.
The love story. Although this wasn't the best love story I've read, I still adored the way the characters built their relationship and how it developed throughout the novel. I think Rainbow captures the realism in teenage love perfectly, and you can see that with her other books as well.
The diversity of the characters is obviously something that I've noticed, and appreciated. Park being Korean and into punk music really made the book feel more real, and I'm sure that for many, this book was very relatable.
It'd be a lie if I said that I did not like this book. I did like it a lot, but having read Carry On and Fangirl, this one was a bit of a let down. However, I will forever read Rainbow's books and she will always be in my list of auto-buy authors!
I hope you enjoyed my small review of this book, and hopefully you see where I'm coming from with my opinion. I know that this book is loved by many and I would still highly recommend it!
☺☺☺☺☺ : Flawless
☺☺☺☺☹ : Very good, a few flaws
☺☺☺☹☹ : Enjoyable
☺☺☹☹☹ : Okay, would not reread
☺☹☹☹☹ : Disliked, do not recommend