Well my first YA (young adult) novel of Rainbow Rowell, I must say that I’m very much lucky to have read this book, as it brings back the memory of my first love. Everything is perfect, the setting, the characters, the plot is blended well and has come out to be brilliant.
Eleanor the crazy redhead girl and Park the weird Asian kid, these were the things that they thought about when they first came across each other.
The novel is based on a teenage love story between Eleanor & Park set in Omaha, Nebraska. They first met on a bus as it was Eleanor’s new school, being a newbie in the town. They shared same English and history classes. Gradually started sharing things but only one sided, Miss Rowell made this moment more interesting and the plot is set up in a way that, Park use to keep the things like comics and cassette tapes on Eleanor’s seat next to his seat but they neither saw each other’s face, nor talked. Slowly and steadily, through late night conversations and mixed tapes, they fell for each other. The way we fall in love the first time when we are young.
Park half Korean got some really strict rules at his place yet he is in all happiness with his father, mother and a younger brother Josh, a stable family. On the other hand, Eleanor, has a broken family, was living with four brothers, sister Maisie, mother and her step-dad Richie, who is always ready to renounce her.
The most interesting thing about the book is, the dialogues are so intense that it makes you feel that you are living those characters up. The hand-holding as the way Park describes it, “Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat”. Eleanor’s description of Park’s trench coat as smelling “like Irish spring and a little bit like potpourri and like something she couldn’t describe any other way than boy”, and they are amazingly fascinated of each other’s touch.
A very new thing which I learned through this book is of its dual narration. It is a sweet, short and simple love story of high school. If someone is really interested in YA then they can go for this book. If you are not, it might be quite slow and boring for you. The pace with which the story is moving forward is dilatory. But, if you got patience then you won’t feel spurious. As for me, I love reading romantic books, so it was quite a delightful and charming read. Steve, Tina, Cal (Park’s friends), Maisie, Mouse, Ben (Eleanor’s siblings) all the characters are amiable and relatable.
At last, Eleanor sends Park a postcard and that to be of only three words long. I assumed those to be “I love you”, as Miss Rowell herself wants readers to assume that, rest you will understand once you yourself start reading the book. Eleanor & Park is a compelling story that is much about courage and capacity to heal as it is all about highs and lows of our first love.
Author: Rainbow Rowell