Sunday, 24 January 2016

Eleanor & Park | Book Review


I finished reading this book quite a while ago and I finally have a review of it!

"Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.
Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true - an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love."

I first started reading this novel in September, but because of school, and partially because it didn't immediately grasp my attention much in the beginning, I only read a page here and there. Even though it didn't grab my attention at the start, I wanted to finish it because I hate leaving a book unread! So, I thought that I would take it on the plane to Kraków and read it then. As the novel progressed, I got so into it that I read most of it on the way to Kraków and didn't want to put it down!

It follows the story of quirky Eleanor, whose home and school life is less than ideal, and quiet Park, who is just trying to fit in. On her first day at school, Eleanor is forced to sit beside Park on the bus and continues to do so each day afterwards. As the book continues, their relationship grows and we learn a lot about the characters' lives.  

It's told from the point of view of both Eleanor and Park. The chapters alternate between the POV of the two. I love this narrative style as it gives us insight to the thoughts and feelings of both characters throughout, rather than only providing us with the thoughts and feelings of one character and leaving us to wonder about the other character. 

Although the book deals with quite a few heavy subjects, such as first love and domestic abuse, there were also some humorous parts to balance it out and make it a little bit more light hearted. I also love the little references to music and artists such as The Smiths, The Beatles and U2 throughout. 

There was quite a major plot twist that I wasn't expecting at all(!!) towards the end of the book and it made it that much more interesting. So much so that I was reading any chance that I got, including during all of my free periods at school that I'm supposed to use for studying (oops!). 

After the climatic plot twist, I was quite disappointed with the ending of  the book, as were many of my friends who have read it. Then again, the ending does stick in your mind as it leaves you to ponder what happens next in Eleanor and Park's story.  And I must admit, I did shed a tear or two at some points towards the end. 


Have you read Eleanor & Park? What did you think?

Sarah-Michelle x

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1 comment

  1. I read this a long time ago and remember not really loving it, definitely disappointed by the ending too!

    Yousra | Mystic Tales

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