Hello happy readers! I have a review for you today of a book that I will start you off with knowing I just loved! That book is Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I still have two books of hers I haven't read yet, Landline and Carry On, I know I'm behind, but given how much I've loved her other work I can't wait to fall in love with them.
Rating: 5 Mix Tapes
I LOVED THIS BOOK! So so much I don’t know if I can put it into words. I went in open and a bit unsure since I’d been told it was ‘okay’ and others who flat out loved it. I figured it was one that could go either way and after adoring Fangirl (review) and Attachments (review) I was trying hard to keep my expectations level so as not to get over hyped. I also went in not knowing much about it just that two kids find a love story in an 80’s setting. I think it’s the best way to go in really.
I listened to the audiobook and wow! Let me say I highly recommend it even though I’m sure I would have finished the end a bit faster reading it but after starting it and falling in love with listening to it I had to finish it that way. First can I just say wow for the time and looking at kids today this is insane. Kids have some insane ideas of what to do and how they want to act but this was before all of that where parents weren’t reported to social services for spanking you for being bad or play outside unsupervised. They didn’t even get called when there was clearly serious issues happening in the household. The batteries! Yes do I remember going through tons of them in the 90’s and they were ‘improved and longer lasting’ I can only imagine.
I felt for Eleanor. Her life was not by any stretch easy. She has an attitude and her own issues sure but given her living conditions the fact that she managed at all was beyond a miracle. Her step-father was such a dick. No sugar coating it at all. Come on no bathroom door? Seriously? That many kids in one room. I have siblings but I could never imagine not having a single ounce of space to myself. Still even in her dark moments and doubt of anything good being capable in her life she keeps pressing on. I also related to her moments of happiness and her fear that they would be taken away from her, so sure nothing good could ever last for her. I just loved her.
And speaking of love, Park. I just don’t have words for him besides, I want one. He just made me all warm and fuzzy inside even when he was saying the wrong thing he made me happy. He was a jerk at first but you see why, he is just trying to survive under the radar and she was drawing attention to him. Then he started to see her, the real her. The way he slowly became her friend working on bringing down a small chip of her wall at a time and being pretty much completely understanding with her and her horrible lack of being able or willing to explain things properly and sounding like a nut half the time. He is what I think so many of us, anyone who is or has ever been insecure, wanted. Someone to see the real us and make us feel like that.
And the writing! I was pulled back and forth between the two seeing things from both sides and how the other reacted to the other and never a dull moment. The relationship between these two was so beautiful for all the right reasons. There are so many beautiful and wonderful lines from this book I could go on and on and on with them. I’ll just share a couple instead.
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.
The first time he'd held her hand, it felt so good that it crowded out all the bad things. It felt better than anything had ever hurt.
And when Eleanor smiled, something broke inside of him. Something always did.
He tried to remember how this happened—how she went from someone he'd never met to the only one who mattered.
She couldn’t repay him. She couldn't even appropriately thank him. How can you thank someone for The Cure? Or the X-Men?
See! Beautiful and awe-inducing! Well that is all I have to share with you today. Please tell me what you thought of Eleanor and Park down in the comments. What did you think of the story and the writing? What were some of your favorite quotes or moments? I'd love to hear and discuss.
Until next time…