This week for Teen Book Talk, our reviewer talks about Eleanor and Park, a novel by the very popular Rainbow Rowell.
Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**
Jessie H., 10th Grade, Teen Reviewer
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Format: book, novel
Year of Publication: 2012
Who will the book appeal to?: ages 14-17, people who liked The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and The Selection by Kiera Cass
Eleanor & Park is a touching story about two teenagers finding first love in the 1980s. The book follows Eleanor, an eccentric, red-haired girl and Park a boy whose life was never very exciting before Eleanor. Love at first sight couldn’t be farther from reality for them, as it takes a while for the two to even exchange a few words, let alone fall in love. Their romance is anything but predictable, and is almost bittersweet.
As someone who usually avoids romances in young adult novels because of their cliche nature, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Both Eleanor and Park are complex characters and have so much more to them other than their relationship with each other. They both have realistic flaws which lend themselves to a less than perfect romance.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance novels and even to those who don’t, because this is one that is truly unique. The book does have some strong language, mentions of sex, and it deals with some heavier topics, so I would be careful if you’re not comfortable with any of those things. Overall, I think Rowell did a wonderful job with this book, crafting realistic characters and an engaging plot.