Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series: Stand Alone (please no!)
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Released: 26 February 2013
Summary: courtesy of goodreads.com Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.
My Review: I cannot get enough of Rainbow Rowell lately. I follow her on tumblr and twitter and I wish she had an Instagram. Basically she has reached the same prophetic levels as John Green in my whole author fandom thing. I’m pretty sure if I were to meet her in real life I would start crying or something equally embarrassing. Are you ready to know why? OKAY! HERE’S WHY!
Eleanor and Park literally broke my heart and put it back together again. Now, I will admit, I was approved for this title almost a year ago on NetGalley, I read it, and I didn’t feel strongly either way on it. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t really hate it either. Then I read Fangirl (and Fangirled over Fangirl) and decided to research Eleanor and Park a little bit more. John Green had endorsed it, that alone was a pretty big get for me. And then I read this article on Rainbow Rowell’s website about how much she loved the audio version, so I finally signed up for Audible and downloaded my free book (I’ve never read an author endorsing their audio book before unless they themselves have read it) and then went on to Amazon and bought the print version.
Before I go on, there is something you should know. I’m not usually a fan of audio books. I like the voices I come up with in my head. I don’t travel a lot or have a long commute, and I prefer records. I also read faster than most narrators, and I don’t find them very engaging, they never sound like the characters in my head. The audio version of Eleanor and Park is one in a million because I absolutely love it. In turn, I ended up truly and fully falling in love with Eleanor and Park.
Not only are they relatable, both singularly and as a couple, I loved that Eleanor’s life wasn’t perfect, but she still found happiness. The overall tone of Eleanor and Park, for me, is hope. Yes, there are definitely depressing parts to this novel, but this novel also accurately depicts a life. Maybe not your life, maybe not my life, but it depicts a life just as real and true as any of ours, and it’s unapologetic and beautiful. In a world where contemporary young adult novels aren’t really the norm anymore, Eleanor and Park stands out. It’s authors like Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and Melina Marchetta that make me remember why I love reading. Because I love experiencing different lives, and I love getting the opportunity to identify with people. I grew up in a white upper middle class suburb. I didn’t have any friends who (to my knowledge) were like Eleanor or Park, and getting the opportunity to see life through their eyes, to see each other the way they see each other, and to live for just a few hours, the same way they did resonated with me. I feel like I want to stand and shout from the rooftops, “I get it world! I get why you love Eleanor and Park! I do too! Let’s live in this beautiful tragic lovely world together.”
Let’s do it.