Monday, March 17, 2014

Braving the World: Eleanor & Park

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
My Rating: 4.5/5

"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK 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." - Goodreads


I read this novel over the course of one weekend, at first one or two chapters at the time, and then just desperately gulping it all down. For me, this novel definitely picks up speed and strength as the story progresses, and then you truly see and feel and believe the love between Eleanor and Park, and how hard life is pulling them apart.

This story is about love, but at the same time about so much more. It's about life in the 80s, about adolescence, school, sibling rivalry, domestic violence, prejudices, and poverty. Written alternately from Eleanor and Park's points of view, this romantic, tender, but also very raw and true-to-life story slowly sucks you in, grabs you, pulls you under, until you just can't stop reading and can't stop feeling and can't stop yearning for more.

One thing about this book that touched me the most is its language. Simply beautiful, borderline poetic (I know that's technically not right but just bear with me please). Sentences like "There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises," and "'I don't like you,' he said. 'I need you,'" and "Park's face, asleep, was a brand-new kind of beautiful. Sunshine-trapped-in-amber skin." The descriptions are so evocative that you can't help but picture each character in your head and feel them come to life.

Another thing that I really loved (and also made me tear up) is the ending. I won't spoil it for y'all, but let's just say it's pretty indicative of how life gets into the way of first loves. The ending will definitely remind you of your own very first romance, and all the bittersweet things you felt, all the awkward and shy moments shared, all the distant memories refreshed.

By all means, read this book.

xx
Vanessa :]

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