Have you ever fell in love? If not, have you ever dreamed of falling in love? The kind of love that crushes your soul. The kind of love which tears open your chest, rips your heart out and stomps it on the ground. The kind of love where your soul seizes to be yours. Your completely hers. You’re completely his. Every breath you take is for them. You LIVE for them. Your existence is dependent on them. You are nothing but an empty, hollow shell without that love.
If yes, then go to your nearest bookstore, and buy Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Written from the perspectives of both Eleanor and Park, this book is guaranteed to make you feel like someone is repeatedly punching you on your guts. This book will make your heart skip a beat so many times that you’re gonna have to put it down every once in a while just to force air back into your lungs.
Excerpt taken from Goodreads:
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…
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…
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 Take on the Book:
First of all, let me clear this up. I’m not a teenage girl, I’m an adult and I’m not that kind of girl who squirms on every other love story. I’m not the one who is easily smitten by every YA book that comes out there. The last perfectly amazing love story I read was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. But now this book, Eleanor and Park, has found its way up in my “mental-shelf” just alongside TFiOS.
So anyway, the story is pretty simple. After Eleanor’s parents got divorced, her mom married an aggressive and abusive man, and now she and her 4 other siblings belong to a disruptive dysfunctional home where they live in scarce financial conditions and a hostile environment. Eleanor is an average weird chubby little girl. You know, the one on whom all the kids in school like to pick on. On her first day on the bus to school, she is treated with the usual scorn and ridicule teenagers like to put people like Eleanor through. No one offered her a seat; no one except Park.
Park is the mysterious silent-type boy. Belonging to a happy and normal family of four, with a sweet mom, a pushy dad and an idiotic brother. On that first day, when Park offered Eleanor the seat, he did that quite begrudgingly because he always likes keeping to himself, listening to songs and reading his comics, but then he looked at Eleanor and felt sorry for this strange girl. For many days, Eleanor and Park treat each with the silent-treatment. Not even looking at each other. But despite their initial avoidance, they soon start to discover their is more them that meets the eye. From silently sharing comics and mixtapes of songs they both love, a friendship is born and soon it evolves into something more. Their little daily interactions on the school bus set in motion a slow-building and beautiful love story between two very unlikely people.
I’d like to stand up right now, and salute miss Rainbow Rowell for creating a love story so human. Most of the times, in the literary world, female leads are shown to be slim, beautiful, delicate creatures with perfect hair. Eleanor on the other hand was a girl with hair she was not comfortable with (extremely curly and fiery red), had freckled skin and had weight issues. She had an strange sense of style and wore shabby clothes which triggered ridicule. But Park fell in love with her nonetheless. It’s not the other persons financial conditions, family issues nor their outer beauty that you fall in love with. You fall in love with the person’s self. Who they are. You find infinite perfections in those tiny imperfections.
Oh, I forgot to to mention. This is probably the first book in my life that I have finished in just two days. I’m kinda proud of myself 😀 I just didn’t want to put it down. The moment the book started, that first chapter, the reader is slapped on the face with the realization that this is a story about heartbreak, that this love isn’t going to last forever. But despite that, I kept on reading with desperation and never for a second quit hoping that maybe, just maybe, their is a shred of hope for their love. Well I’m not going to spoil the ending for you. My friends who read my blog never skip the Spoilers Sections So yes, you, please go and buy this book and read it! I promise you, this book will give you clenchy feelings in your heart, give you warm fuzzy feelings in your stomach and probably make you ugly-cry a couple of times. I know I did.
Note: There are so many quotes from this book that I want to share. I’m doing that in a separate post. Otherwise this one is gonna get ridiculously long.
I finished this book last night, and this is the news I get to hear the very next morning 😀 Yesss, Dreamworks has obtained the rights for Eleanor and Park’s movie adaptation. Well I’m not very enthusiastic when it comes to translating books to the big screen, but their are a few exceptions where I can’t help but squirm and squeal with excitement!
I just hope and pray that they cast unknowns for the main leads, because right now in the industry I don’t think their are any actors suitable enough to play Eleanor and Park. PLEASE FOR GOD’S SAKE DO NOT CAST TAYLOR LAUTNER FOR PARK! Yes he may have tiny Korean like eyes but for God’s sake no. Just no. And please do not cast Alia Shawkat as Eleanor! Absolutely not. I know Rainbow thought that Alia will be great for the role but come on she’s so older than the girl in the book. And is NOTHING like Eleanor. Please take some actual 17-19 year olds. Let them be unknown and be a sweet surprise for all of the fans. And please God, let their be a great director for this movie. Please allow him/her the ability to convey the deep beauty and sheer brilliance of this book with justice. Amen!