Review – Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

Orion, 2012

Park does everything he can to avoid being noticed. As the only Asian student in his year, attention generally comes with a bad joke. Eleanor, meanwhile, could not stand out more if she tried. With her outlandish clothes and unmanageable red hair, she’s the subject of stares and whispers from the moment she gets on the bus. When the two are obliged to sit together, it is under protest on both sides. Slowly, in tiny gestures, a friendship grows between them and an understanding that they are both more than what other people see. But there are still so many secrets they don’t know how to share. No one ever said falling in love was safe.

It’s quite difficult to describe this book in a way that doesn’t make it sound generic, but it’s got a spiky, awkward charm and a strong sense of honesty. Neither Eleanor nor Park are the kind of protagonists you generally see leading a romance, something they are both intensely aware of, which is a bit meta. They are the kind of protagonists I’d like to see more of. For my reviews of Rowell’s other work, you can follow the tag below.

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