I can’t give this book a rating. There are parts that definitely deserve a 5, but there are parts that deserve much less. For a while, I kept seeing this book on my Goodreads news feed, all my friends were reading and enjoying it. This is a group read for my group on Goodreads (Book-A-Holics, Not So Anonymous) for January, so I finally said “alright….”
I was instantly sucked into the story of Eleanor and Park’s growing love. From the moment they saw each other, avoided each other, hated each other…to the I need to touch her, I need to be near her…This is not your traditional YA love story. This has all the nitty, gritty, issues of teenage angst. Oh high school…how I miss you….NOT. Rainbow Rowell really lets it out in Eleanor & Park. Completely uncensored, teenage romance. Complete with your popular bullies, your jocks, mean girls, abusive step-dads, broken homes, broken dreams, punk and a whole lot of cultural diversity..circa 1986 in good ‘ol Nebraska.
Honestly, I am not even sure how to write this review. This book left me feeling empty. I went through my ENTIRE day upset. I kept wondering…”am I missing chapters?” I kept remembering how I felt by the end of Looking for Alaska by John Greene. That one book by Greene almost ruined him as an author for me. (I gave him one more shot with The Fault in Our Stars and if you haven’t read it…do! Now! Like go to the store and GET IT NOW). I don’t like that books just, end. Like one chapter everyone is happy and then in the course of a few pages, it hits the fan and ends. Everyone is gone. Everyone is broken. Like my heart. My heart has been broken. Rainbow Rowell engrossed me, tantalized me, made sweet sweet love to me as a reader and then beat me up and left me to cry on the ground all bloody and bruised and just walked off without looking back. That is how I have felt all day. This look of utter confusion and “wtf” moments whenever I thought about it. But then I start to think, Eleanor mentions how she never wants there to be an after. That if her and Park do not make it, she just wants it to end. So she can remember him as the perfection he was. Just end. And that is what this story did. Ended.