Eleanor & Park

Books, Pink in Ink
Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she’s never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.          Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and – in Eleanor’s eyes – impossibly cool, Park’s worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by.          Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.          Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true – an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.”

 I went into this with no idea what to expect from this book with no idea what emotions it would ignite in me that I haven’t felt in years.

I really resonated with Eleanor. A young teen who is anything but invisible just wishing to be swallowed up by the world. A girl who wants to fit in but is just too different to even know how.
Being a young girl in high school is rough. Really rough. Being a plus size woman in high school and looking different is really, really rough. Just that is bad enough but contending with that and being the new kid is a million times more rough!

But Park also reminds me of a younger me who would do everything to stay invisible because people… suck! He reminds me of a time when I started to grow into my own skin, learn who I am.
During the course of the book, Park grows as a person. He embraced his differences and became more vocal about how he felt with the people around him. And, he had great taste in music!

I think the most gut-wrenching, soul destroying part for me was seeing the abuse unfold.

Eleanor and Park reminded me of when I first met my partner and the amazing person that he is. I feel like I’ve found our twins! (Minus the elusive ending)

A big question that is left at the end of this book was if it’s a fairy-tale ending or a real-world one. The author wrote that it’s like we are ‘coming to the end of our journey with them’ and I completely agree. To me, these characters are real people. Though it would seem like a sad ending, for me it feels like the start of a new life and maybe there will be another serendipity in store for them when they’re ready.

I can’t (personally) see any flaws in this book. It really did hook me in from the very beginning and beyond the last page. I have a feeling that sometimes I may sit and wonder: where are they now? What happened to them? Or their families?

I have fallen head over heels for this book and it’s absolutely wonderful leading roles. Eleanor and Park is a story to remember.


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