Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. ★★★
Narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra. ★★★
It was cute. Really, what more can I say? That’s the word that sums up most of it.
I’ll preface the rest of this review with the admission that this is not at all the sort of book I tend to like. YA romance and the romance genre in general is just not my thing. If you tend to like these genres, you will probably like Eleanor and Park more than I did.
Because of that, it took me so much longer to read than normally. I just kept putting it down and being reluctant to pick it back up. Honestly, if this wasn’t the book club book, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. I think part of the problem was that I was listening to it on audio. If I’d been reading it in print, I could have easily skimmed past the paragraphs upon paragraphs of what it felt like to hold each other’s hands (cute, but boring). As it was, I did end up skipping three romance type scenes on audio.
I found some parts of Eleanor’s sections most interesting, namely her home life. There was actual conflict there, compared to whatever was going on with the romance.
I didn’t have too many issues with it, but I do think that more could have been done with Park. Isn’t the premise of the book that they’re both misfits? But Park isn’t bullied or ostracized at all, and the fact that he’s half Korean is never really developed. It seems more like his life was designed to be a contrast to Eleanor’s, but besides that, nothing was really done with him.
I know that this is really not my thing, so I tried to be easy on the rating. I don’t know precisely who I’d recommend this one too – fans of John Green maybe?