Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

I've heard a lot about Eleanor & Park, about how great it was. I can say that I was let down by the hype. While Eleanor & Park is a cute and original book, it is not as groundbreaking as I was led to believe. 

Eleanor & Park was conflicted as to whether it wanted to be a dark, grisly look at abusive relationships, or a cute coming-of-age romance. It fell in between both of these, making it a weak attempt at both of them. I felt as if the book had great potential, but it did not develop any of it.

The romance was, of course, the center-piece. I felt like it got overly cheesy sometimes. But, I really did enjoy how unique it was. Eleanor & Park was original, you have to give it that. Nearly everything has been done before, and this book is the first one in a long time to look at romance in a different light. To quote that Selena Gomez song: "It's been said and done / Every beautiful thought's been already sung."  Eleanor & Park was a very original romance, even if it lacked in other aspects. This book examines each flaw, and each struggle that comes with holding onto love when it's slipping away from you. 

This isn't an entirely horrible two stars, but that's just what I think would accurately fit it. Give it a try, but don't buy into all the hype.

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