Book Review: Eleanor and Park

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell



  • Cost- $18.99
  • Category- Fiction
  • Page Count- 325
  • Star Rating- 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommend to a friend- Yes- An adult.

Synopsis: Eleanor has a troubled home life, is the new girl at school and stands out with her vibrant red curly hair and unusual way of dressing. She meets Park and in the classic high school style- they fall for each other. The book follows their journey to be together amongst criticism at school and hiding it from Eleanor’s family over the duration of their junior year.

Things I liked: The characters were wonderful and relatable! I was in high school during the 90s which is when this story takes place and the author looks about my age, which makes sense. Park’s father was one of my favorite characters. He has this style of being hard on Park but the amount of love he has for his family is so heart warming. Eleanor is also a wonderful character. She’s different and doesn’t hide it or try to conform even during some harsh high school moments. The ending was really, really great. I often get nervous about endings in love stories but this one left me satisfied.

Things I didn’t like: I started reading this on a whim because my 12 year old step-daughter wanted to read it and we read the same books as a way to bond- it’s lovely. This book I believe was too mature for her age. Sure, she probably watched things worse on television but reading it and being invested in this book is different in my eyes. The language is vulgar. The bullying is mean and there isn’t really a lesson within the bullying theme. But it’s not a book about bullying- it’s a love story. I also think the relationship is too mature for her to read. As I mentioned, Eleanor has a troubled home live and I found it a pretty serious issue in the book. The ending did elude to a happy conclusion for the family- but again was only eluded.

I think this book is more appropriate for high school readers not middle school, but that is just my opinion. I would recommend this book to an adult friend around my age because it’s like reliving our high school days in the 90s for the good or the bad.

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