Book Review : Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

For book lovers, I think most will immediately agree that Eleanor & Park is super duper hype. This book published long before today and long before I created this blog but I am well aware of the popularity.

Even my non-reader friends are crazy about this book, which I refused to read back then since I’m not so into romance reading. These days, I’m trying to get out of my dull reading-routine since it’s so hard to read a true good book.

And I pick this out of curiosity and anticipation due to the hype and I really need a light reading right now. So, here we go!

Genre : Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Page : 328 pages
Published : 12th April 2012

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. 

“She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

I admit, the blurb is promising and I am definitely intrigued.

Eleanor & Park—  When stacks of mixtapes changed the course of two lives for ever.

Honestly, it has been two weeks since I read this book and I might’ve forget something for the review. But here goes.

It’s not hard to love this book. This book has an easy-going premises to absorb readers right into the world. Just like the title, this book centres on both Eleanor and Park.

I think I have never read YA characters as unique as these two babies.

There are many things I love about this book but there are also things that have me got a bit um, jumbled up inside? Anyway, here’s my opinion:



1. The Characters

Seriously, Eleanor and Park truly have big potential to turn the literally world upside down. I may not be a fan of romance but I am quite aware that there are too little books that centers on a chubby teenage girl to fit into the story, as the main love interest.

So, this book definitely win my respect.

Park’s also a unique character in YA world. He’s not a jocker type boys but he’s also not a shunned out boys. It’s just endearing to have these two couples as a pair. 

2. The Premises

The first thing that came to my mind reading this book : “Oh wow. What a strong language.” because this book sets in 80s era (which do not seems like it to be honest, except for the tapes) and this book has a strong way in addressing people with different race background.

This is one of the points that jumbled things up for me. I do not know how to feel about this ‘racial’ aspect because it’s harsh and for the record, I know it might be happening in real life but I’m also shocked to read how transparant and forward this book subjects people with different race background.

3. The Narrative 

The writing, the narrative, the formatting are all so good. The writing style is so addictive that I couldn’t put this book away for a long time. And the switched narratives between Eleanor and Park is just lovely.



Because this is a romance book, I think all of you might read this book if not due to the hype, then it must be due to the romance. 

To be honest, I love the interaction and attraction of both Eleanor and Park. They’re just lovely and oh my god, I’m so happy this is not some insta-love book.

The perfect words to say about the romance is : the characters just flow along the plot line and it just happen. Simple as that. It’s so nice to read romance like this. 

For some time, I adore the romance of this book because it seems so real and understandable. But along the way, the romance transform into something um, out of character? fiction-like? You know, romance that seems to only happen in a book and might never ever happened in real life situation. 

Like this: “I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” 

It’s not a bad thing and probably most romance goes like that. But even though I’m looking for a light reading, I expect something realistic for this book since it contains several heavy topics inside.

But again, it’s endearing and addicting to read about Eleanor and Park.


I absolutely love to read the book. It’s so good and I have this desire to finished this book as soon as possible because of how good it was. I enjoy every second of my time spent reading this book.

But as much as I love the book, I don’t think it’s the best romance I’ve read. Unique premises, yes. Lovely characters, yes. Addictive story line and writing, yes. But I do not know why I found it lacking.

Moreover, this book discuss fairly heavy topics inside and it makes the already complicated matters more tangled. 

However, personally, I do think the ending is a bit rush. It’s not what I’ve expected at all. It’s not the best ending but it’s not the worst ending either. I’m fairly satisfied but I would love to read some more or even read an epilogue about it.

But I clearly understand why people love this book so much. Unique and so nice to read. You should try putting this book on your list!

“I want everyone to meet you. You’re my favorite person of all time.”

Author: Celine

4 thoughts on “Book Review : Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. I read this book recently, since I’ve read fangirl a few times and really like it! I agree about the ending, at first I was unsatisfied about the ending, but now I think that it fits better since it makes the story feel more realistic. Wonderful review btw, loved reading your views on the book! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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