Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary, Teen Fiction, Romance
Pages: 325
Related Words: abuse, high school, asian, redhead, romance
Rating: 3.5/5


…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


…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


General Overview (Without Spoilers)

I liked this book. It wasn’t bad, but I can’t say that it completely blew me away. It was easy to read, short, and the plot was interesting and kept me wondering and guessing. But I felt it dragged on, not a lot happened, and the ending wasn’t very satisfying.

That being said, I usually read Fantasy books and am not used to Contemporary. This is also my first Contemporary book in a long time, so I don’t have much to compare this book with. I did enjoy reading Eleanor and Park and I’d definitely recommend this book to people who do like Contemporary more. But for me, it was okay.

Full Review (*With Spoilers*)

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The beginning starts of with the meeting of Eleanor and Park, which we find very quickly that it wasn’t a very pleasant first meeting. Park wasn’t too nice to Eleanor and they had a very awkward beginning until about a quarter through the book when they started to realize that they got a long really well.

The character of Eleanor and Park was really different and I really liked that. Instead of that cliché hot, muscular guy and that average, plain girl, Rainbow Rowell did an amazing job creating different characteristics of characters that people can relate to more. It made the book unique and interesting to read. 

The background of Eleanor’s family was a little vague, however. There were details about her father being too greedy, and Richie was charming and married her mother, but then turned out to be a jerk. But I wanted to explore it further and see more of the characters.

There really isn’t much more to talk about than that since most of the story is just Eleanor and Park growing their relationship, which I found was totally sweet. I liked how Park gradually showed these acts of kindness towards Eleanor and then they fell in love and etc… It was cute. 

But then the ending came along and I was just left with a whole bunch of questions. What happened to Eleanor’s mother? Her family? Richie? What happened in that one year gap? Why did Eleanor finally decide to write to Parker? Did they ever meet again? What happens after that?

It was just a really unsatisfying way to end a book because there were so many loose ends. I don’t think this book needs a sequel, but I feel that an epilogue at least could have came to conclude everything. It was weird how Eleanor just left her family while she went to her uncle. I want to know whether or not she helped her family in the end, or if the police ever caught Richie. I want to know how it ended, properly. It was a weak ending, in my opinion. 



It was a good read, but not fantastic in my opinion of things.

Did you read Eleanor and Park? What are your opinions about the book?


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