Eleanor & Park
Published: February 26, 2013
My Rating: ★★★
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
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.
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I really like the simplicity of most of Rainbow Rowell's books. This one included. It is just so clean. I keep eying it at the bookstore, just because it draws me in. I do with they had made Eleanor look a bit heavier, with crazier hair though.. maybe a wierd shirt or something. Sure, it isn't full body, but the bit that we do see shows a normal weighted girl. So much of the book describes her as as not fitting the status quo for a girl's looks, but then her picture fits a normal girl. It drives me nuts when a cover portrays a character wrong.
Okay, I know I'm in the minority here, but I just don't get super excited by Rainbow Rowell's books. This is my 3rd book that I have read by her. None of them were drop dead favorites for me. Do I like the story lines? Yes. Do I like the characters? Definitely. They're the best thing about the books. But, something about the writing style just doesn't draw me in and keep my attention. Everyone else LOVES her, and I try so hard with such high expectations. But then, it just doesn't really excite me. It is just a good book to me. Not great or fantastic. I actually feel like I'm missing out since I don't get the hype. Maybe, I'm not part of some secret club or something.
First, I'm going to talk about one thing I do love. I love the characters that Rainbow Rowell creates. They aren't run of the mill or understated beauties. No, she takes weird people and makes them lovable and beautiful in their own unique ways. I love this! I mean lets face it, we can't all be Miss America gorgeous with a good heart to match. In fact, 99% of us aren't. That's okay though! We each have our quirks and that is what makes us special. I'm bad at explaining it, but Rainbow Rowell does beautifully.
Rowell also likes to tackle some difficult and uncomfortable situations. She tackles them well. Especially in the YA books. They are there, but she makes them known without going into too much detail, for the more conservative reader. Not that I'd necessarily recommend her to a conservative reader, but none the less.
I think my only problem with the books is the voice. I don't get it. It doesn't draw me in or really bring me to care about the characters. I'm not sure why, but something about the way the book reads just doesn't connect with me right. Honestly guy, I don't know what it is. I almost feel bad saying it. I just don't feel like the way the book is written is especially wonderful. Is it badly written? No. I really think the style just doesn't mesh well with me.
Overall, I'd really still recommend this book to most people. Everyone seems to love it except for me. It is a good book, I think the style just doesn't fit my personal preferences.