“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”
-Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
♥ Summary ♥
In this love story, Rainbow Rowell follows Eleanor and Park.
Park is a half-Korean misfit with a life that seems perfect… to Eleanor.
Eleanor is a red-headed oddball with a not-so-perfect life. Not perfect at all.
They start out despising each other, and later on are able to find love. They have their obstacles, and best moments with each other. In the end, they both realize that sometimes, love is harder to find, and to keep.
♥ Thoughts ♥
Let’s discuss the characters, first.
First of all…
“’You saved me life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.’”
She thought that. She thought that but she never said it. THAT WILL FOREVER BOTHER ME. WHY DIDN’T SHE SAY IT! PARK WOULD’VE DIED OF JOYYYYYYYY!!!!
Eleanor was very interesting to me, in many ways. I liked that she was different. She looked different and acted different. She was very strong and I felt like she saw things differently than everyone surrounding her. This is probably one of the main reasons Park loves her.
Eleanor had a very hard life. All father figures she’s ever known are horrible ones. Her biological father is un-responsible with a drug and alcohol addiction. We didn’t get to see him much in the book, but I could just tell that if we got to see more of him, I would lose it. He doesn’t stick to his word and he is reckless and pig-like. He is quite similar to Richie, Eleanor’s step-father. Richie swears endlessly, is very much like a pig, and has drug and alcohol addictions. Except, Richie is abusive and much more disgusting. He’s abusive to Eleanor’s mom and Eleanor, mainly. He would hit her mother and treat her horribly. He would also write disgusting things onto Eleanor’s textbook and would scream at all five children, one of which is a baby. I could not deal with these characters.
One of the ones I probably hated most in Eleanor’s family is her mother. I understand that her mother was put into a hard position with an abusive husband and five kids, but she is not strong at all. She has to understand that she should protect her five kids. When Richie attacks the kids, she seems to be defending him. I hate that. I would cut her more slack if it was obvious that she couldn’t get out, but it really wasn’t. Moving into Richie’s house that was smaller than hers was the first dumb move. One time, Eleanor called the cops because she heard guns. When the cops came, Eleanor’s mother told the cops that Eleanor made a mistake. The truth was that Richie’s was annoyed at some kids playing basketball outside and shot his unlicensed gun to make them afraid. Eleanor’s mother easily could of turned him in and the whole thing would be over. But she didn’t.
I liked a lot of things about Eleanor. Her differences, her humor, which is sarcastic and somewhat dark, just the way I like it. However, I had some problems with Eleanor. I thought she was slightly too dramatic. A lot of times, she would push Park away when he didn’t seem to be threatening anyone. She also seemed to cry for no apparent reason. Like on Park’s couch one time, when she didn’t feel like going to his house. She was there with him, just watching TV, and she started crying. Not just crying, but she also seems to be looking for ways to be mad at Park. When Park says something that’s supposed to be nice, she tries to turn it into something that sounds mean. It makes me slightly frustrated. It was either the events that made Eleanor sensitive weren’t explained very well or she was just very sensitive and touchy.
(SPOILERS) Around the end of the book, Eleanor was getting dropped off at her uncle’s house because she was getting away from her horrible life. She asked Park not to wait for her and later regretted that decision. I hated the fact that Eleanor asked him to do that and the fact that Park did it. It hurt sooo bad. I guess my lonely heart was just looking for another chance for them to be together. (SPOILER ENDS)
I liked Park a little bit more than Eleanor. He seemed stronger and he didn’t really care about what people looked like. Also, he was madly in love with Eleanor and when Eleanor was being self-conscious about her body or her face, his perspective saw it differently. He absolutely loved everything about her. When someone is blinded by love, it can make them a positive and stupid (in a good way) person. I like those kinds of people, as long as they don’t get too stupid.
“’I miss you, Eleanor. I want to be with you all the time. You’re the smartest girl I’ve ever met, and the funniest, and everything you do surprises me. And I wish I could say that those are the reasons I like you, because that would make me sound like a really evolved human being …‘But I think it’s got as much to do with your hair being red and your hands being soft … and the fact that you smell like homemade birthday cake’”
(SPOILER) When Park went emo-ish, I thought I was going to have a problem with it, but I actually just felt kind of sorry for Park. He loves her and is constantly waiting for her to write or call, but she never does. Another con for Eleanor. (SPOILER ENDS)
I didn’t have many problems with Park, the only one was when he would get kind of… cringey. For example, he would touch Eleanor on her hair, or something. It was probably supposed to sound cute, but it really just made me cringe. I guess i’m not too big into that lovey-dovey type. Nonetheless, Eleanor and Park were still adorable.
Now that we’re done talking about the characters, I wanted to talk about the writing, because that matters.
The writing, for the most part, was pretty could. I could see most things in my head and I could connect with the characters.
However, some parts were hard to see and to understand. A lot of times, I was confused on what the characters were doing and where they were, exactly. Not what place they were in, like Park’s house or school, more like where the were in the place. When Rowell described intimate scenes between Eleanor and Park, it sounded kind of off and slightly weird. Maybe it was supposed to sound like that because they are teenagers, but I just… I dunno, I just didn’t really get it.
(SPOILERS) Many scenes, like around the end when Park was kicking Richie in the head, I still don’t get. Did Park actually kick Richie in the head or did he just kick snow on to him? I’m so confused! (SPOILER ENDS)
The fact that this book didn’t make me cry also sort of took away some points for the writing. I wanted to cry. I wanted to feel things. But, I really didn’t. Usually I’m a sucker for sad love stories, however, I’m really not in-love with this book as much as Park was in-love with Eleanor.
♥ Conclusion ♥
I feel like, I should love this book. I feel like I should carry this book wherever I go. I feel like I should smile every time I see this book. I just don’t. I like the idea and I like most of the writing. I just, don’t like all of it. Maybe it’s because I set my expectations too high or maybe it was because I was looking for something else.
Why did it get a 3?
-Problems I had with Eleanor’s mother
-Problems I had with Eleanor
-Small problems I had with the writing, I didn’t feel and I was quite confused.
That concludes my book review! Even though this book got a 3, I still think you should read it. Everyone has different opinions, ya know?
(Featured image is NOT MY PICTURE once again. The book I read is a library book so yeah… it’s not in the best condition.)