Book Review: “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park

Title:  Eleanor & Park

Author:  Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 336

Synopsis (from

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this 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.


My thoughts:

When I was working at Barnes & Noble, I remember seeing this book on the Young Adult Bestseller shelves directly to the right of the Customer Service desk.  I can’t tell you how often I moved that book as it changed spots/numbers on the list.  Now after reading it, I have to be brutally honest, I have absolutely no idea how it stayed as a Bestseller for so long.

Wow, this book fell completely flat for me.  I think this story of first love in all its odd, boring nuances was just completely lost on me as an adult, so perhaps this one just doesn’t cross over to us oldsters.

Frankly, I found the book just boring. . . page after page after page of the minute details of the lives of these teens.  I know that is apparently what it was supposed to be, it just wasn’t my thing.  I can’t imagine a teen in this fast paced day and age enjoying this book with no action – but what do I know.

I also found myself having no connection at all with either of the main characters – in fact I found myself disliking them a bit.  Instead of coming off as an outcast, outsider Eleanor came off to me as just plain mean and snotty.  Park was just well . . . boring.

Both main characters definitely had tough family situations in very different ways, which also should have left the reader feeling something – and I didn’t, I was just annoyed.

And for the ending . . . a little ridiculous in my opinion.  Yes I know it is fiction and a story, but it was quite unrealistic and for me at least didn’t give me the emotion I believe the author was going for.

Overall, a complete dud for me . . . slow pace, boring story, unlikeable main characters, unrealistic ending.  Not a combination for a winning read.

And remember,

Books Are Life,




Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s