Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
''I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

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.

eARC from Net Galley

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Really, I don't know where to begin. I think I really need some times to form words. Sigh...
I'm kind of newbie in Young Adult genre (yeah, I know I repeat it many times) and despite there are sooooo many YA books out there I want to read, I decided to read this one. Maybe because it's the first YA books I got from Net Galley. Well, no surprised actually when my request was declined often, for I had no history with YA books. :D

I received the copy like months ago. Maybe because I wasn't in the mood, after started and reading 2-3 pages, I wasn't connected. I decided to read it again some days ago when I was struggling with the flu. Although it's a bit hard for me to read with teary eyes, I kept on going. I did need few days to finish it. But at least I didn't start reading something new. 

At first, I couldn't imagine the situation described. I wonder if Eleanor was that 'bad' with her appearance. I also tried so hard to imagine what Park would look like when he's half Korean, but has green eyes. But anyway, the story, the plot and the flow just sucked me in. I'm 100% sure some people would consider it boring with this kind of storytelling. I can't say that I loved it, but, well, it just sucked me in and forced me to keep going. 
I loved both Eleanor and Park character. I loved how their relationship started and developing. I loved the way they started to noticed each other, but didn't know exactly what to say. You may say that they communicated without words at first. Well, of course aside the very first words Park said to her on their very first meeting.
I loved how Park deliberately read his comics slower because he realized that Eleanor read it too. I loved the way Park let her borrow his comics and introduced her to some music, or how he made her a mixed tape. Oh dear! That's soooo me back then. :D Well, I didn't really connect to the bands mentioned in this book, I didn't recognize most of them, except like the Beatles or U2. I loved how Park decided to ask his grandma AA batteries for Christmas present. I really think Park was sweet. Well, and maybe, just like Eleanor often said, dork. I loved their first touch, their first kiss. :)
Of course, there were times when I felt like, how could their relationship went so easily from being just friend to boyfriend-girlfriend stuff. But, well, sometimes things just happened.
Oh, dear! I just didn't know what else to describe about this book, about how I felt while reading and after reading it. I just knew I loved it!

Recently on my other BLOG, I asked some people on one of the giveaway why they love reading YA. Some answered because they can relate to the characters or the problems they encountered, or how reading YA books makes them feel young again. And now I totally understand what they mean. :) 
I always love the kind of story that you can relate to yourself, or to your life, or to something around you. I also love the kind of story that can easily happen to your life. I mean, I do love those fairy tale or fantasy stories. It's one of my getaway. But things like that won't happen in my real life. This kind of story, Eleanor and Park's, is something that can be happen to our daily life. Of course, I have already passed their age, but you know what I mean, right?

“You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ― Paul Sweeney

Somehow, that's exactly how I felt when I came to the end of the book. I even turned back to make sure that I didn't miss something and try to convince myself that there might be other pages. And when I realized it WAS the end, I felt like ... that's it? I want more! I want to know more about them, their relationship, their families, especially Eleanor's ... I definitely want more!
Well, one thing for sure, I have to get myself a copy of this book.


  1. I started with this one today after i read ur review!! And im loving it!!! I like ur honest review :))

    1. Thank you! So you finished it already? Wow!

  2. No i still had a few chapters to go. I couldnt stop reading but close to the end it kind of become repititive so i took a break and went to sleep.