Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Published On: April 12, 2012
Published By: Orion
Amazon | Goodreads
Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
Everyone loves it, but not me.
I really do like Rainbow Rowell. I have read Attachment, Fangirl and Kindred Spirits are really enjoyed all of them. Eleanor & Park, however, I did not like. This is many people's favourite Rainbow Rowell book but I found myself wondering if I was reading something different to them. I was disappointed.
This book triggered me.
I tried really hard not to let it affect my enjoyment of the book but I struggle with anxiety and depression and some of the things that happened in this book hit a bit close to home and did have a pretty bad affect on me. This isn't so much a criticism of the book as a warning for those in a similar situation. To clarify though, this wasn't the main reason I disliked the book.
I was bored.
Honestly, I found this book boring. They got on the bus, they were awkward, they got to school and didn't talk, they got back on the bus and were more awkward, they went home to their bad parents and repeat. It felt like nothing happened other than their increasingly awkward romance.
Eleanor & Park are not couple goals.
I'm sorry but I just didn't like the relationship. Everyone seems to love it but it made me cringe constantly and some parts were just uncomfortable to read. Their connection felt fake and forced and just not very believable or realistic. I didn't like the way they treated each other either. Some of the comments they made about each other were just downright mean and not what you should be saying to someone you apparently love, or at least like a lot.
I just generally didn't like the characters.
I didn't connect with the characters at all and just didn't care about them. At one point I actually found myself thinking the story would be a lot less boring if one of them would get killed or something. That is not something I want to be thinking about characters, and not something I think about real people, I just felt the need to clarify that.
Overall, I absolutely love Rainbow Rowell and her writing was good, I just really didn't like the story or the characters. I wanted to love this just as much as everyone else and I'm actually really sad that I didn't. I guess this book just wasn't for me.