Book Review: Eleanor and Park

A great read, and the ending had me in tears


Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is the story of Eleanor, a sixteen-year-old girl with bright red frizzy hair and pale skin. She doesn’t have a great home life and tends to keep to herself. On her bus rides to and from school, Eleanor meets a boy named Park. He is a half-Korean sixteen-year-old boy who is obsessed with music and comic books. The two aren’t too fond of one another upon first meeting. However, they quickly grow to enjoy each other’s company and fall in love. But just as Eleanor thinks her life may be turning around, her troubles at home finally catch up with her.

I’ve read this book in the past and absolutely loved it. The second time reading this book I enjoyed it, but not as much as I did the first time. The characters are beautiful and well-developed. Each analogy was insightful and Eleanor’s sarcasm is beyond funny. 

Although the characters themselves were well developed, I don’t believe their relationship was. Eleanor and Park seem to fall into a deep and all-consuming love extremely fast. I would have liked to see a slower build and some smaller, more meaningful moments.  

If you are planning to read this novel, keep in mind that it is set in the late ’80s in Omaha, Nebraska. Be aware that there are racially insensitive comments. Also, there is quite a bit of cussing and a couple of mentions of underage drinking. 

Despite the book’s flaws, it was a great read and the ending had me in tears. I’ve read one other book written by Rainbow Rowell and liked that one as well. I definitely recommend you give her books a read, especially this one. If you enjoy a quick read with romance and drama, I think you would love Eleanor and Park