Book Review: Eleanor & Park



Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository


I liked this book but I didn’t really get the hype. I thought it was good, a nice love story, and I loved Park but Fangirl is definitely still by favorite book by Rainbow Rowell. As much as I wanted to sympathize with Eleanor because her home life was all kinds of terrible I just didn’t like her character all that much. I found some aspects about her relatable but overall I wasn’t a fan.

Park was the best though. I loved him through and through and thought he was fantastic. He was so sweet and had the best lines. He was almost a little too perfect but his dorkiness made he more real to me and I liked that a lot. I loved how he and Eleanor bonded over comic books and music. I thought that was super cute.

On a different note, I know this book has received some backlash for being racist and I can see to an extent where people are coming from but to me it seemed more like Rowell’s characters were a little racist and had some engrained prejudices they definitely needed to deal with. But I don’t think Rowell herself is racist and to make that accusation is a little absurd to me. At most I think maybe people found the way that Park’s mom speaks to be questionable but I think it make sense that a woman who was born and raised in Korea would have an accent. It’s like when J. K. Rowling wrote things out differently for Hagrid because of his accent. It’s the same thing and nothing Park’s mom said was stereotypical or anything.

That being said I’m not Korean so I can not speak for Korean people who feel at all offended by this book. Just for me personally I didn’t have a problem with it.

Anyway, all in all I did enjoy this book. It’s not my favorite book of all time but I liked it enough to want to buy the exclusive collector’s edition with the cool illustrations. So it’s a buy!


4 stars

Favorite Line:

“And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”

Other Reviews

Pretty Books

Reading With Jenna

Helen’s Book Blog

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Eleanor & Park

  1. I didn’t really think this book was racist either. It definitely wasn’t something that came to mind when I read the book. I agree with you that the characters may come across as racist but maybe that’s just a reflection of what it was like to live in a small town in the 1980s?

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