Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

My Favorite Quotes

“Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.” 
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park

“I want everyone to meet you. You're my favorite person of all time.” 
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park

“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.” 
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park

“I just can’t believe that life would give us to each other,’ he said, ‘and then take it back.’

‘I can,’ she said. ‘Life’s a bastard.” 
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park

“He made her feel like more than the sum of her parts.” 
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park

“I don’t like you, Park. Sometimes I think I live for you” 
― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park

Book Specifications

·  Title: Eleanor and Park
·  Author: Rainbow Rowell
·  Book Type: Novel
·  Genre: Young Adult Fiction, romance, life
·  Edition: Paperback
·  Publisher: Orion Books
·  Year of Publication: 2012
·  Number of Pages: 329


Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

When Eleanor starts sitting next to Park on the bus to and from school, their journey is at first silent. Over time they begin communicating with each other in small ways, at first about music and comics and then about themselves. As the year progresses the awkward disaster that Park saw on the first day of school turns into a beautiful young woman he loves.

But coming from a home with an abusive and violent step-father, Eleanor's life is a long way from simple, and Park might have to give up the girl he loves if he wants to save her.

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.

My Review

““I don't like you, Park," she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. "I..." - her voice nearly disappeared - "think I live for you."
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
"I don't think I even breathe when we're not together," she whispered. "Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it's been like sixty hours since I've taken a breath. That's probably why I'm so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we're apart is think about you, and all I do when we're together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I'm so out of control, I can't help myself. I'm not even mine anymore, I'm yours, and what if you decide that you don't want me? How could you want me like I want you?"
He was quiet. He wanted everything she'd just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with 'I want you' in his ears.”

The setting? 1986...I wasn’t even born, guys, but I do have knowledge of random tidbits of the eighties...memories mostly accompanied by a cringe. But not here. This story was beyond perfection. I think I liked it even better than Fangirl, simply because it was more dramatic and poignant. Eleanor and Park just stole my breath.

The story starts out with Eleanor, the new girl in school, getting on the bus for the first time and having no place to sit. Everyone stares, no one helps her out, including Park. Finally, Park caves in and scoots over so that she has room to sit, but he does it hesitantly, almost ticked off at the stupid redheaded girl in the utmost frumpy clothes who made such a spectacle of herself. Over the next few weeks, these two go from pointedly ignoring each other to a reluctant yet silent cameraderie, bonding on the bus over Park's comic books and eventually music. Once they start talking and the silence is broken, the floodgates sort of open, and they become fascinated with one another.

The dual point of view here quite literally MADE THIS STORY. 

Being in Park's head as well as Eleanor's was paramount to my enjoyment. Park has a romantic soul, made evident by the way he thinks of “his Eleanor”, the way he goes from train wreck curiosity to utter fascination and adoration with the awkward girl with so many secrets...he literally stole my heart.

“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 characters are unique...so new and fresh, the word has been reinvented. Eleanor comes from a broken home...quite literally, her home is broken. Her parents, both not so great to begin with, are divorced. Her mom remarried a man who loves to drink and loves to bully...and bully he does, but he does so much more. Eleanor's back story is one to make me feel like the world's best mom quite simply because I could never allow what happened to her to happen to my daughters. And yeah...her mom ALLOWS this bastard to treat Eleanor like trash, allows her daughter to be left alone and scared, without the support and love that a parent owes their children. 

Park, on the other hand, has a wonderful home life. His Dad met his Mom in Korea, married her and brought her home. They still kiss and hold each other like they haven't seen each other in months. They are simply adorable, and no matter how Park rolls his eyes, the reader can tell that his parent's love for each other gives Park a wonderful sense of security that he absolutely takes for granted...as kids really should be able to.

It takes quite a while for Park to realize what kind of life Eleanor is leading.

“My girlfriend is sad and quiet and keeps me up all night worrying about her.”

It seemed to me that this high school love story is one of the few that I can actually see continuing on through the years and becoming...more. The bond between Eleanor and Park is already so deep, so strong. Nothing will keep them apart. They are young but they are realistic. They are also made for each other, and though Eleanor seems to be more skeptical, I know that deep down, she wants this to be a forever kind of thing...more than any other wish in the world, aside from her tragic circumstances, against all of the odds, she just wants Park. 

“Nothing was dirty. With Park.
Nothing could be shameful.
Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.”

This goes down as one of my favorite books of 2018 as it is almost to an end, and Park goes onto my favorite heroes shelf. Because he is the best kind of hero...the one who saves his girl against all odds, who fights against the world because of his devotion. I loved this story with all my heart and I don’t think it’ll ever get off my thinking crown…because it was just so beautiful and lovely and smart and witty and adorable and whatnot?! But also prepare to bawl your eyes out. At the end, this one is a tearjerker. If you are in the mood for an ugly-cry, look no farther.

If you haven’t read this book and is still thinking whether or not to read it, stop whatever you’re doing and head to the bookstore, grab a copy and get yourself to the bed and START READING!

Have a great day!


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