Thursday, 12 September 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park
Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

“You can be Han Solo and I’ll be Boba Fett. I’ll cross the sky for you.”

7 words. There are 7 words that summarizes everything I want to say about this book and what I want to say to the author. It made me wanna fall in love. 

Reading Eleanor & Park was an awesome experience. It surprised me with how amazing it was. I felt so connected not just with the characters but everything else. I felt connected to the whole story itself like every small part of it was a part of my body. It made me smile and laugh at unexpected times, but it also made me cry. It wasn’t dramatic at all but the way it was written already hooked me from the start that every move the character made greatly affected me. 

The characters were amazing. A few bloggers already said that this book was like the TV series, My Mad Fat Diary so the way Rae looked stuck with me while I was reading the whole story. I just have to change her hair color to Eleanor’s red hair and add a few things with her outfit but it was pretty much the same (in my head anyway). What was different and amazing about it was that Eleanor wasn’t the typical female protagonists that was usually seen in YAs. Although most female characters were not popular or sometimes bullied, they were usually thin or actually beautiful if only they wore the right clothes and didn’t hide their body. Or that they were actually prettier than the mean girl but for some reasons, only the male lead character notices this. Here in Eleanor & Park, Eleanor was nothing like that. She was weird and big. She wears weird clothes that seems to scream that she doesn’t care what others think (but she actually does). In short (and to be blunt), she was not attractive at all but she still stood out above them all. Yes, she was weird but she’s pretty amazing too. While reading, I totally understood why Park was attracted to her. She is the kind of person that I want to be friends with; someone who’s smart and passionate about things they love. It made me want to hug her every time she talks about music. I can clearly picture her out with her eyes shining while unknowingly flashing a huge smile. 

Park was adorable, amazing, cool, endearing, precious, epic, etc. He will be, without a doubt, go to my book boyfriends list. It all started with his conscience and that 6 inches of space that separated them in the bus, but everything after that was like fireworks. For some reasons, I see him as a hope that there are still guys who are into girls not because of how they look. But above all of Park’s awesomeness, what I loved most about him was his flaws. He sometimes showed some insecurities and sometimes has this urge to please other people just to fit it. And while those might be typical stuff teenagers went through, it was shown how this would contradict to what he wanted to do or what he was supposed to feel about something. It made him more real and more human. 

Other than the two of them, another favourite of mine was Park’s parents. They weren’t perfect and there were times when I wanted to hate them for what they said or the decision they made but despite that, they were sweet and understanding. Park’s mother and father might have differences with Eleanor and Park, respectively, but they still made up for it and really tried. And it was really nice to see parents in YAs who are still very much in love with each other. 

Eleanor’s family was—ugh, I can’t even think about them right now. Although they are in a very poor situation and that I’m supposed to sympathize, I can’t help but get pissed with them. Maybe more pissed with the mother than the kids, but pissed nonetheless. I really hate it when parents can’t fight for their kids and I kept waiting Eleanor’s mom to stand up for herself and for her children the whole time I was reading it. Although Eleanor said that her dad didn’t want her or implied that he was a jerk whenever he was mentioned, I can’t help but see that he was actually better than her mother. If only they had the option to stay with him. Her and her siblings. 

I can’t help but want more after that ending. But somehow, it also felt right for it to end that way. Like Eleanor usually said, it just stopped. It was like there was no ending, it just stopped. Whatever they felt for each other was still the same and although there were a lot of changes, it felt like nothing has changed.. at least between them (except the obvious). 

I am in love with this story. I am in love with the characters. I am in love with every piece of this book. 

“Because people want to remember what it’s like to be young? And in love?”