You know at first I thought I was going to lose my shmat when I saw the story go down a 5 Centimetres Per Second route (and omg watching that movie at midnight does NOT make for pretty tears–not that my crying is at all attractive), but all I could really think at the end was “It’s about goddamn time!” You go, Eleanor.
ELEANOR & PARK
by Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin’s Press, 2013
Rated: 3.5 / 5 cookies
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.
It was kind of difficult to wrap my head around on how to review this book, because it’s not the type of book I read to begin with. I had the same problem with John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, which, to be honest, was why I was curious to read E&P, because apparently TFiOS was supposed to make me cry. (Honestly, I didn’t. The book was depressing, though.) I’ve had E&P on my TBR for a while, and it was the first Rowell book I’d been alerted to.
Then Fangirl and Carry On kind of encompassed my entire Rainbow Rowell reading experience, and I don’t think I’ve yet recovered from squeeing over the Snowbaz fever.
Anyway, in short, I finally did get to E&P, expecting the sadness that encompassed TFiOS. Suffice to say, while I was quite entertained by the two lovestruck teenagers (and YES to not-skinny, awkward, anxious Eleanor!), and while the book certainly immersed me into the horrid ’80s dysfunctional family that was Eleanor’s (juxtaposed with Park’s not-so-dysfunctional ’80s family), it wasn’t my favorite Rowell. It was still pretty darn good, though, and worth the read, if only to read more Rowell conversations.
So with that, I end with five lovely quotes that, had I been reading this when I was in high school, would have made me cry (not just with sadness, mind–some crying could also be brought on by pretty words! yes this happens!), and the one time I kind of did.
Five Times I Almost Teared, And The One Time I Kinda Did
When she saw Park standing at the bus stop on Monday morning, she started giggling. Seriously, giggling like a cartoon character…when their cheeks get all red, and little hearts start popping out of their ears…
It was ridiculous.
When he saw Eleanor walking toward him on Monday morning, Park wanted to run to her and sweep her up in his arms. Like some guy in the soap operas his mom watched. He hung on to his backpack to hold himself back…
It was kind of wonderful.
The writing style for this entire book reminded me of the poetry I played with in high school. I love the “He said, She said” style, and Rowell does it so damn well for an entire book.
Eleanor sitting next to him on the couch made Park feel like someone had opened a window in the middle of the room. Like someone had replaced all the air in the room with brand-new, improved air (now with twice the freshness).
Eleanor made him feel like something was happening. Even when they were just sitting on the couch.
Park has a lot of feelings. He’s adorable. And I swear every time he describes his time with Eleanor it’s filled with such pretty words and description.
“You think I’m cute?” he said thickly, pulling on her hand.
She was glad he couldn’t see her face. “I think you’re…”
Beautiful. Breathtaking. Like the person in a Greek myth who makes one of the gods stop caring about being a god.
I thank Rowell for NOT having Eleanor describe Park as a Greek god. The quote was made even better because of this.
You saved my life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.
This was just a lot of awwwwww.
He’d stopped trying to bring her back. She only came back when she felt like it anyway, in dreams and lies and broken-down deja vu.
Honestly, this was the first damn page. And then it get repeated later on in the end, which made it more understandable and all the sadder. Ugh, I could not at this point.
THE ONE TIME I KINDA DID
Just three words long.
Not gonna lie, that pretty much just says everything.