Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & ParkWhat’s it about?

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.

My thoughts

Young Adult isn’t my preferred genre but I won this signed copy in a Twitter competition so thought I’d give it a go; albeit a tad sceptical that I’d enjoy it. Well I got a third way through the book in one sitting; partly because it’s very easy to get on with and secondly because I got completely wrapped up in their story – more so Eleanor’s! 🙂

Told in turn by Eleanor and Park we get to see how each of them interprets the conversations that they have, how they both see each other and how their relationship blossoms. Can you remember what it feels like to like somebody and then realise that bloody hell that might actually like you back? This is really quite sweet but it’s not quite straightforward.

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

There were a lot more deeper social issues at hand here other than just first love. I felt desperately sorry for Eleanor for like 95% of this book and was constantly hoping that she’d just catch a break!

Overall, it really surprised me that I enjoyed this book so much given I’m not really its target audience and I really enjoyed the ’80s references; the cassette tapes, the Walkman and taping etc took me back to my childhood. Just goes to show you that you should be more open to new things and to finish – I actually prefer this cover; I think it sums them up perfectly.

Eleanor & Park

Get the book Kindle | Paperback

Connect with the author Rainbow Rowell

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WWW Wednesday (April 15th)

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what you’re reading this week…

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

rebeccaRebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

This book has been on my TBR pile for ages and am reading as part of #paperbackmonth. It took a couple of chapters to get into; the writing is very of its time and descriptive. I’m about 150 pages in and I have to say, as much as I’m desperate to enjoy, which I am in a way, I’m finding it terribly slow. Nothing’s really happened in terms of the dark psychological side. Maybe I’m just being too impatient – we’ll see.

The blurb

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

What did you recently finish reading?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell Eleanor & Park

Although YA isn’t a genre I read that often I quite liked this book. There were a lot of deeper social issues at hand here other than just first love. I felt desperately sorry for Eleanor for like 95% of this book. Surprising!

The blurb

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.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Theodore Boone The ActivistTheodore Boone: The Activist by John Grisham

Next up in my #paperbackmonth challenge is the fourth in this YA series. I’ve read the other 3 so it makes sense to continue.

The blurb

Theodore Boone, young lawyer, has had a lot to deal with in his thirteen years, everything from kidnapping to murder.

But he’s come through it all and, with the law on his side, justice has always prevailed.

Sometimes, though, the law doesn’t seem so just. His friend Hardie Quinn is about to have his family home bulldozed to make way for a bypass. Hardie is not the only one affected: other homes, businesses and schools lie in the path of the road. Theo has to tell his friend the bad news: for once, the law isn’t on his side, and there’s very little anyone can do to end the destruction.

Theo joins the campaign to stop the road. But when he stumbles on a terrible secret about the corrupt men behind the plan – a secret it is illegal for him to know – Theo must figure out how to keep the developers from breaking the law… without breaking it himself.

What’s on your reading list this week?

WWW Wednesday (April 8th)

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what you’re reading this week…

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell Eleanor & Park

YA isn’t my preferred genre but I won this signed copy in a Twitter comp so thought I’d give it a go; albeit a tad sceptical that I’d enjoy it. Well I got a third way through the book in one sitting; partly because it’s very easy to get on with and secondly because I got wrapped in their story – more so Eleanor’s! 🙂

The blurb

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.

What did you recently finish reading?

breakfast_at_tiffanysBreakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

This is one of all my time favourite movies so reading the book after I’ve seen the movie so many times was going to be a tough challenge. I hadn’t realised it was only a short story so at 87 pages it’s a quick read; I just didn’t love it as much as the movie. Review to follow shortly.

The blurb

It’s New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany’s. And nice girls don’t, except, of course, for Holly Golightly: glittering socialite traveller, generally upwards, sometimes sideways and once in a while – down. Pursued by to Salvatore ‘Sally’ Tomato, the Mafia sugar-daddy doing life in Sing Sing and ‘Rusty’ Trawler, the blue-chinned, cuff-shooting millionaire man about women about town, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly ‘top banana in the shock deparment’, and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

What do you think you’ll read next?

rebeccaRebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

This month is about taking part in the Paperback Month reading challenge so I tried to pick books that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time – this is one of those. I just hope I’ll be able to get through the language.

The blurb

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

What’s on your reading list this week?

WWW Wednesday (April 1st)

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what you’re reading this week…

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The Little Paris BookshopThe Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

I’ve let this one jump the TBR queue as I was looking for something a little more light-hearted than my previous reads, however, this is not the case. I’m 30% in, and the main character Jean Perdu, needs a real kick up the backside and told to get on with it and move on – frustrating!

The blurb

On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers.

The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust – until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Thirteenth TaleThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I have a real book hangover from this book, I’m still thinking about it and did I understand the ending correctly. This was our book club read for this month and I really enjoyed it. I’d seen the BBC adaptation so had a vague recollection of the plot and the ending but was pleased that I hadn’t quite remembered it all so there were some twists still waiting for me!

The blurb

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family – fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, brutal, dangerous Charlie, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart…

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past – and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic writer Vida Winter? And what is the secret that strikes at the heart of Margaret’s own, troubled life?

As Margaret digs deeper, two parallel stories unfold, and the tale she uncovers sheds a disturbing light on her own life…

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think may be one of these depending on my mood – which should I go for?

Eleanor & ParkThe ExitThe Girl in the Red Coat

 

 

 

 

What’s on your reading list this week?

My month in books – February

February for me has been mostly about getting through my backlog of Netgalley digital review books thanks to the challenge set by Sophie & Suze.

sasncI started the month at 64%, which is not that bad but I do try to limit the amount I request. However, I’m now at 62% as I just requested and was approved for another book and haven’t managed to write up my outstanding reviews yet. I really do need to crack on if I’m going to be make a positive dent and up my ratio.

On the plus side I’ve read 13/80 books for my Goodreads challenge which at the moment puts me on target. How’re you getting on with your reading challenges?

Books read: 5 (4 out of the 5 were Netgalley’s)

The Undertaker's DaughterSecond LifeThe MiniaturistEternally 21The-Book-of-Secrets

 

 

 

Books added to the TBR:

Eleanor & Park The Exit The Girl in the Red CoatNormal

Currently reading: The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold

Favourite book for February: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

How was your February reading and what are you looking forward to in March?