Book of the Week: Eleanor and Park

Book of the Week for November 3-November 9

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell


Why it’s interesting:

I’ve been hearing about Eleanor & Park all year. I downloaded it (I think as part of a Kindle Daily Deal) on December 10, 2013 and it’s just sat there. Literally every single time I’ve gone into a bookstore since it’s caught my attention. But for whatever reason it just wasn’t what I was clicking on the Kindle. Then, Saturday, we were killing time at a Barnes and Nobel in Chicago and I saw it again. I reached into my bag, grabbed my Kindle, downloaded it, and started reading. Chris had to come get me to leave. I read it while we waited at the airport and on the whole flight home. It’s just such a perfect story of first love. Both of the main characters (all of them, actually) are perfectly believably written: honest, smart, stupid, shady, flawed… It’s just a really really beautiful story. Early on in the story they’re in English class discussing Romeo and Juliet and Eleanor tells the teacher the book is crap, but people like remembering what it’s like to fall in love for the first time. It set this book up perfectly.


The blurb:

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.


If you like this, you might also like:

The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, I realize it’s totally cliche to recommend this book at this point, but I’m going to do it anyway. I’m also going to throw this out there in case you find yourself crying too hard: the likelihood of a girl her age dying from thyroid cancer is so small it’s crazy. Yes, I know the character was based on a real person, I don’t mean her any disrespect. But as a thyroid cancer survivor myself, I feel like I should throw that out there so none of you are going Oh my gosh, this could happen to Amanda! (The sickness part, not the falling in love. I’m happy with my husband thankyouverymuch.) But, again, such an awesome love story.