Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250012570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250012579

(Minor Spoilers Alert)

Rainbow Rowell has become one of my favorite authors for young adult literature. Eleanor & Park is a heartwarming and entertaining book. The writing is clear and colorful. I enjoyed this book tremendously, becoming invested in the characters, rooting for them all the way to the end.

This is a real love story, young love without lust or infatuation. Well, maybe just a little infatuation. A slightly different take on Romeo and Juliet. Eleanor meets Park on her way to the start of her high school year. They were both misfits.

Rowell explores themes of race, gender, and social economic issues in this book. Elements that do not distract from the main story, but that enhance it, making it more realistic. It was easy for me to sympathize and/or relate to the characters’ and their struggles.

Eleanor returned to her mother’s house, where she has to deal with an abusive stepfather, a place she can hardly call home. She has to share a bedroom with her four siblings and shower in the middle of the kitchen. In contrast, Park comes from a mixed race, working class family. A fact that is very important him, his life, and the decisions he makes. As a minority, I love diversity in books because the real world is diverse. (Rainbow Rowell explains it clearly on here).

The story is well-paced. The writing is clear and emotive. I wanted a happy ending for this couple, and I wanted to see them succeed from the start. Rowell’s style is unique and fresh. I will read more of Rainbow Rowell’s books. I would recommend this book to fans of John Green. If you like his style, then I think you might like this book too. If you love contemporary novels and you want something quick and good to read, try this book. Let me know what you think.


Rainbow Rowell Related: Why is Park Korean? Is Eleanor actually fat?


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