Review Detail4.4 15
Eleanor and Park may be one of the sweetest books I've ever read. It made hand-holding one of the most intimate actions. I want someone to hold my hand the way Park holds Eleanor's. It was beautiful. There was so much innocence, so much sincerity in their steps towards first love. Falling in love for the first time is one of the most wonderful things in the world. It also can be the most heart breaking.
In the midst of such a sweet story, there was a honest misery to be found. The life that Eleanor lives is thankfully foreign to me. Her home is broken, unstable, and could and does erupt at a moment's notice. Her stepdad is a class-A creep, and I could not even deem him with the title "man". He feels the need to take away joy and maintain his control, with force if necessary. Her family has just about no money. I mean Eleanor doesn't even own a toothbrush. That part of Eleanor is a desolate one. Throw in the "mean girls" at school, and you have a good picture of what Eleanor faces.
Park has a home life full of love and has never had to worry about food or clothes or money. His one concern is the fact that he doesn't line up with his former-military dad's idea of what he should be like. He fails on many accounts of his dad's ideals. Still, the one thing his dad and himself agrees with is that Eleanor is worth the time. Park is sincere and eager with the innocence of youth. He loves music and comic books. Over time, he begins to bring Eleanor the things he loves, sharing them with her. He even goes as far to provide batteries for her walkman when he figures out that for some reason, she doesn't have access to them. Park though learns to see Eleanor for who she is, and the way he treats her most of the time was full of honor and true "knight in shining armor" style. Another serious plus is that Eleanor and Park talk a great deal of the time in terms of comics and music. The nerd in me sincerely enjoyed that aspect.
Ms. Rowell's writing style is clean, full of flawless wit and capturing emotions we all feel in a beautiful writing. I experienced so many of the emotions with Eleanor and Park. I was incredibly impressed with the style I found in those pages. The book captures what it means to fall in love for the first time, all the awkwardness and beauty in the moments of all the "firsts" and the joys they bring.