Bel Reviews: Rainbow Rowell's - "Eleanor and Park"

rowell_eleanor and parkWhat do you think of when I say 1980’s? As a child who grew up in the 80’s, the first things that come to mind are bad hair, mixed tapes, and walkmans. Rainbow Rowell makes the era come alive through the eyes of Eleanor and Park, two totally mismatched teens who are trying to find their way through high school.

We hear the story from both Eleanor’s and Park’s points of view throughout the book, and it is really interesting to see Park’s opinions evolve and his demeanour change as he gets to know Eleanor. She becomes more than just the scruffy looking new girl on the bus that nobody wants to sit with. She has body image issues and can’t catch a break with the bullies. For her, he is the calm in her stormy life.

There are elements in this book that make it unsuitable for younger readers, and quite frankly, these things even made me feel a little uneasy. Not because they were graphic or scary, but horrific in the way that domestic violence and abuse within families happens every day and nothing is done about it.

Like the film My Girl is firmly set in the 1970’s, Eleanor and Park would be a completely different story if set in any other decade. Though their lives are anything but easy, they came from an era when life on the whole was simpler.

If you can remember the 80’s, this will make you nostalgic and soppy; if you don’t, it feels just like things were ‘back then’.

This is a good book for a spring weekend in the shade, or a cool autumn afternoon in bed.

Paperback, 325 pages

Published February 1st 2013 by Orion (first published April 12th 2012)


1409120546 (ISBN13: 9781409120544)



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