Originally posted on my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
This book came HIGHLY recommended to me and everyone was raving about it so I decided to use my B&N gift card to purchase this one. I have a tumultuous relationship with Eleanor and Park as there were some parts that I fell in love with and other parts where I wanted to throw the book.
There were some passages that made me hold my breath with awe. Seriously, Rainbow Rowell is a very gifted storyteller and she reminds me of John Green in the way she creates characters and writers her prose. Beautiful. Because of that, I think I became almost *TOO* invested in the characters so when they did something stupid, I got angry and annoyed. But that's one of the things I LOVED about this novel--is the way I felt about the characters. They were SO fleshed out and felt like two, very real people trying to navigate their situations in high school. I loved that their relationship had zero cliches. No insta-love, no love triangles. No love at first sight. It was built up very cleverly and I adored the way they eventually fell for each other. Their quips and banter were genius--and it was probably one of my favorite parts of the books.
The sheer use of ellipses in this book is RIDICULOUS. Honestly, I can't believe an editor or publisher let it go to print with it. I think that it's a stylistic thing...but it makes absolutely zero sense. She doesn't even use them to make a point, they're just there. Normally, I don't find ellipses to be a huge deal at all until they start distracting my reading experience and take me out of the story which they did in this book. Sigh.
Also the ending... to say I was disappointed is an understatement. I know, especially from my own experience as a writer, that endings are personal, intimate and are usually written a specific way for a reason. But this ending just felt like a cop out to me. I hated it. And it may be really superficial to say this, but if a book has a terrible ending--it really colors the entire novel for me. So that's one of the big reasons Eleanor and Park was knocked down a few notches in my "rating."
Overall, I really did enjoy this novel despite the few issues I had with it. I would recommend this novel to Contemporary YA lovers. It's worth a read for the language if anything. I'll be checking out Rainbow Rowell's next book for sure!