Recently I read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, published by St. Martin’s Press. The main idea of this book was first love, letting go and making the best out of a bad situation. I absolutely loved the book and although I was frustrated at times, I didn’t have any serious problems with the book.
At first, when the two main characters, Eleanor and Park, meet, they are exasperated with each other. Park thinks Eleanor is a burden that he had to pity and Eleanor wishes Park would not pity her. This happens when Eleanor walks into the bus on her first day at Park’s school. There are no empty seats and Park lets Eleanor sit next to him after he curses under his breath.
Day after day the two sit in silence together on the bus, Park with his comics and music and Eleanor with her mind. One day Park notices that Eleanor is reading along with his comic, when it comes to Eleanor’s stop Park hands her the comic. Eleanor reads the comic and gives it back the next day. The two continue like this and then start to discuss the comics. Soon they are best bus buddies, Park sharing music and comics and Eleanor loving every song. Eleanor fills Park’s mind and Park is Eleanor’s motivation to wake up to another day do to her violent family environment.
Soon they start meeting at a nearby park after school. After that they start holding hands. Then, one day Park hits a guy at school for making fun of Eleanor and tells him to not bother his girlfriend. This made it official that they were a couple.
Rainbow Rowell’s purpose for writing this book was to express what first, honest love is like. Rowell definitely fulfilled the purpose because it was a truly wonderfully crafted novel.
Eleanor and Park was a real page turner. I loved how the relationships blossom and in the end, a mean girl named Tina ended up helping Eleanor in a time of crisis. The book had very realistic characters and it portrayed each character’s flaws as not something negative but a part of life. The book explained the characters in a real way, not some love story, black and white view on high school.
Concluding, Eleanor and Park was a real, honest story of what life is, it sucks, it hurts, but people come into our lives to make it better and then sometimes they leave just as quickly as they came.