Thursday, August 16, 2018

Throwback Titles (3): Eleanor & Park, or, The One in Which I Realize I May Be More Jaded than the Average Teen

Throwback Titles are books that I've been meaning to read for a very, very long time, but have just now gotten around to it. In other words, it's that book you picked up in middle school that may have been a little bit above your reading level, and also happened to have 14 sequels. And what do you, a rational adult do now that you've realized that you stopped a mere five books from finishing the series? Continue, of course.

That's most of my stories, but I consider a throwback title to be any book 5 or more years old. Let's clear these babies out of to-be-reads and remind people of their favorite 2005 novel! I'll be posting a throwback title every Thursday (naturally). Please join in the fun by adding to the linky below and adding my graphic (or one of yours, as long as it links back here) above to your post!


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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 328

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: February 26th, 2013

Cover Comments: One of the best covers I've seen. It really captures the simplicity of Eleanor and Park's love story amidst their otherwise often chaotic life.

Cover Comments: "He'd stopped trying to bring her back."

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.



Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is a book that I've been hearing about for a long time, and most of the things I heard were exclusively rave reviews. People love Rainbow Rowell and everything she writes, it seems. I can't say I'm quite so head over heels about Eleanor & Park as I hoped I'd be, but overall, this was a very sweet love story, if a bit unrealistic for my realist, jaded, adult self.


1) A romance that builds

When Eleanor and Park meet, they don't like each other. Not physically, and not by personality. But their friendship grows through a mutual love of music and comics, and from there to a romantic relationship. It's rare to see a YA book where the love interests aren't immediately "drawn" to one another from the beginning, and I love to see a romance blossom from friendship.

2) Diverse characters

Park is half Korean and half Irish, and Eleanor seems to be a little overweight. It's nice to read about characters who are not white, skinny, and beautiful(see: 99% of teen romances)

Not pointing fingers, nope, not me

3) Real life issues

Eleanor's issues at home are heartbreaking and read all too realistically. While Park's home life is far superior, he also struggles with his dad's expectations of how a man should look, dress, and behave.


1) 0 to 1205871230498234091723

I noted earlier that I liked that Eleanor and Park's relationship in the book is one that builds slowly. This is true for the most part, but I did think things started to get a little too fast and co-dependent for my taste. 

"I don't like you, Park. Sometimes I think I live for you."

I get that this is partly because with everything else going on in Eleanor's life, Park is a warm safe space. It's a also been a while since I was a teenager in love, so we can chalk this up to life ripping out my sentimentality.

2)  The ending

If I were Park, I would be mad as hell. Just saying...

Overall, Eleanor and Park is a very sweet, mostly authentic teen love story with added depth where family issues are concerned. In the tradition of John Green, I can't say that the teens really think or speak like real teens do, but that's half the fun.

Rating: 4/5 walkmans


  1. I've not read this because I felt I would be too old for the story, but I like that it sounds different from the usual fare

    1. I did feel a tad too old for it once their romance got a little more intense and dramatic, but I'd still recommend it. It's such a sweet story, and it's rare to find a book where romance grows so organically from friendship. Thanks for stopping by!