Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Read By: Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra
Length: 8 hours and 56 minutes
One extraordinary love.
Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.
Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
I got this from my library on a total whim. I’m not a passenger of the Rainbow Rowell bandwagon; some of her books have been on my TBR list for a while, I just haven’t picked them up. No good reason and I’m not going to try to bullshit you, I just haven’t picked them up and I’ve been totally okay with that. So yeah, like I said, got this out on a whim because I’ve been listening to a lot of heavy, super long, need to listen closely to process all the details fantasy audiobooks lately and I wanted a change of pace. I wanted something light and easy to absorb. Little did I know Eleanor and Park was going to court me, take me to dinner, buy me pretty things, make me fall in love, and then kick me in the teeth.
This book was raw and gut wrenching. It was an adorable story about first love that drew a lot of attention to the difficulties of being a teenager and living in a broken home. Watching Eleanor and Park fall in love was wonderful. The underdogs winning and being happy had my heart fluttering and beating a million times a minute. What Eleanor endured, though, both in her home and in her life in general, was horrible. It hurt my heart so damn badly and made me feel so vulnerable and exposed. It also made me pretty angry, because I hate how unfair life is to people who don’t deserve it. I especially hate this when we’re talking about children or teenagers, because it’s normally out of their control and they’re just getting dealt a shitty hand in life for no reason. Ugh, I have such a love/hate relationship with reading about difficult topics. I torture myself.
This was one of those books where I kept thinking about the ending the entire time. Do you know what I mean? Like, things are happening and you’re pretty sure that shit is going to hit the fan, and you can’t fathom how the author is going to possibly tie up all the loose ends and clean everything up into the perfect ending because there just isn’t enough time to make it all work out, so you freak out about it the entire time you’re reading? Yup. I was internally freaking the eff out about how Rowell was possibly going to wrap this all up.
About 75% through, I knew I wasn’t going to be a fan of the ending. It wasn’t horrible, but I was looking for way more closure than I got. So, womp womp. I knew my concerns the entire time were not unfounded!
Overall, this book crushed me… but in a good way? Is that even a thing? I don’t know. I don’t even know who I am anymore. Here, this sums it up:
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Ron.
The ending. Yay or nay?