Park was alive, and she was awake, and this was allowed. He was hers. To have and hold. Not forever, maybe – not forever, for sure – and not figuratively. But literally. And now. Now, he was hers. And he wanted her to touch him. He was like a cat who pushes its head under your hands.
First let me say that I loved this book. There is just something so innocent, beautiful and simple about he way that Eleanor & Park fall into this connection they have. I picked up this book solely on the recommendation of a few friends and a the gentle nudge from my favorite buddy reading friend, Wendy F. I was blown away buy the connection I felt for Park & Eleanor so early in this book. I think what helped was the alternating POV's throughoutEleanor & Park. I swear I highlighted half this book but as you'll see these beautiful words just need to be shared with the world. Plus, every girl should have Park beside them.
Park touched her hands like they were something rare and precious, like her fingers were intimately connected to the rest of her body. Which, of course, they were. It was hard to explain. He made her feel like more than the sum of her parts.
To be inside the mind of Eleanor was pure magic. But your heart breaks a little every time she has to go home. I cried for her. My heart broke for her. Then my heart swelled for the magic she found on that school bus. I can't spoil this book for anyone who reads this review, I think people would round me up and throw me in the slammer. Eleanor is a very layered characters. Her life has not been easy and she lives with her mother and stepfather. They don't have much money so Eleanor wears this strange mix of goodwill hand me downs that just add to her feeling out of place and not fitting in. But Eleanor never complains and that only makes me lover her more. Her situation is beyond her control and she hides in this tiny house because Ritchie is not a good guy. Everything changes when she rides the bus and sits next to Park. Everything...
I empathized with Eleanor a lot. She's growing up and her hair is frizzy, her clothes are frumpy, she rounded in parts that other girls are not yet and her confidence leaven is very low. She rarely makes eye contact and tries to fade into the background which is not easy to do with bright red curly hair. I guess, she reminded me of the Leea in high School, unsure of her body, her unruly curly hair all over the place and this feeling of not fitting in anywhere. I know a lot of girls feel this way in HS and Rainbow Rowell does an amazing job of showcasing this in Eleanor & Park.
Park looked good in black. It made him look like he was drawn in charcoal. Thick, arched, black eyebrows. Short, black lashes. High, shining cheeks. ‘Dear Park, I like you so much. You have really beautiful cheeks.’ The only thing she didn’t like to think about, about Park, was what he could possibly see in her.
Park comes from a house filled with love. His parents are truly in love and his father rushes home each day to grab Mindy in his arms for a full on make out session (Park's words, not mine). It's embarrassing but also Park knows it's something his friends don't have. His life isn't perfect, I mean he's a half Korean kid growing up in Omaha. He feels out of place at times but he's always got a positive attitude. Things change for Park the day Eleanor steps on the bus.
Park is so open. You almost can't believe he's genuine at first and I think that Eleanor thought the same thing. That this boy cannot like me or so many reasons but Park is not like that. He's so honest and shares his feelings freely and I loved that about him, plus Eleanor needed that so badly.
Eleanor & Park
Eleanor & Park will forever be like saying Romeo & Juliet or John & Yoko to me... I know that's so cheesy but I don't know any other way to describe the feeling you get when they're together. Like some where out there the world is right, all the stars align and this moment could last forever. Eleanor describes Park's skin like the sun, it almost hurts her eyes and I have to say I agree with her. He's so bright and beautiful that you almost can't believe he's real. Park cannot see the imperfections that plague Eleanor's thoughts, her curvy hips, frizzy hair are all the sum or her parts. He loves her... not the idea of her.
Brace yourself for a lot of quotes... Just a warning. I cannot do these characters justice, so i'm letting Rainbow Rowell words speek for themselves.
Park Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.
Maybe I’m not attracted to real girls, he’d thought at the time. Maybe I’m some sort of perverted cartoon-sexual. Or maybe, he thought now, he just didn’t recognize all those other girls. The way a computer drive will spit out a disk if it doesn’t recognize the formatting. When he touched Eleanor’s hand, he recognized her. He knew.
Maybe Park had paralyzed her with his ninja magic, his Vulcan handhold, and now he was going to eat her. That would be awesome.
She couldn’t repay him. She couldn’t even appropriately thank him. How can you thank someone for The Cure? Or the X-Men? Sometimes it felt like she’d always be in his debt. And then she realized that Park didn’t know about the Beatles.
He wished that they could go through life like this. That he could physically put himself between Eleanor and the world.
Nothing is perfect. I'm sure you're reading this review as a gush fest full of love for Eleanor & Park and it is but I have to say the ending nearly broke my heart. I read it through tear filled eyes and it was hard to take until that last sentence that gave us reader hope. Then I was just pissed... So mad that it all came to this. I wanted more, no I NEEDED more and I had to know what happens. The sad thing is, I don't think i'll ever know what those three words were. So that my friends is why the 4 star rating on a book that is totally 5. Petty you may call me but I don't care.Eleanor & Park is still one of my favorite book of 2013.
This is something I came across on Tumbler and it made me giggle, don't click on this spoiler if you haven't read the book. So funny! (view spoiler)