Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
My Review: Okay so I think I’m getting over the shock of this book a little bit. I still can’t get over the end but I’m getting there. (I hope so)
Anyway this isn’t the first book I read by Rainbow and I’m a bit upset I didn’t start with this first. I didn’t really like the other one I read so I was a bit conflicted about reading this. I heard a lot of great reviews about this so I had to give it a shot. I’m really glad I did.
The story is told from the point of view of Eleanor and Park. Eleanor is the new girl at school who everyone decides to pick on right away. Everyone already has there friends and could care less about making the new girl feel welcome. Plus it doesn’t help that she sticks out like a sore thumb. She has the reddest hair you’ve ever seen and her outfit doesn’t help. When introduced it starts out with that typical new kid has no where to sit on the bus scene. The one where nobody wants the new kid to sit next to them and how they’ve all claimed these as there own. One noble rider, Park, decides to move over for her since no one else will. Park is a decent guy who has friend and likes to tune things out by blasting his music. He is happy to have Eleanor at his school because that gives everyone someone to pick on instead of him.
At the beginning there isn’t much to their relationship Park and Eleanor have a few honor classes together and also happen to sit next to each other on the bus every day. She ignores him and he ignores her. Expect one day, Park notices he isn’t reading his comics alone. He slowly begins to accommodate Eleanor. Then one day he just straight up hands her his comic and that is where their story really begins.
I have to say I did find myself annoyed with Eleanor some of the time. Just certain things she would say to Park but the more I thought about it I felt I could see myself doing as well so I kinda told myself to chill out. Park was a great guy. I enjoyed his character a lot. How he embraced every part of Eleanor and saw her as this beautiful person no matter her size or her overreacting to things he didn’t understand at the time. He handles most situations maturely.
I did feel horrible for the everything Eleanor had to deal with her stepfather. It’s such shame her siblings had to grow up in such a horrible environment. It’s such a shame that it’s common for people to put up with that because they don’t know where to run and are too afraid to do anything. I did wish we saw a bit more of Eleanor’s real father. He was in the story for basically a chapter and then kinda never heard from but I guess that helps not only show what person he is but what kinda men Eleanor’s mom falls for.
Finally the ending. Oh boy man did that have me in tears. My heart was broken. I was not expecting that at all. I kept wanting to yell at Eleanor but ugh there was nothing I could do about it. I did feel a little unsatisfied with it being a bit open ended with her family but I guess you kinda assume what ended up happening. I did enjoy the very last sentence but my heart was still broken.
Overall I really enjoyed it and will check out more of Rainbow Rowell’s work. I would recommend this book but be warned that you probably will cry. It is a bit refreshing to see how different the ending is from other stories but still very heartbreaking.
Overall 3/5 Stars