Monday, June 17, 2013

[DNF Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell]

"Eleanor and Park"
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Pages: 325
Page Ended On: Around 200
Genre: YA, Contemporary, 80s
Date Published: February 26th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format Read: Finished copy from the library


"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
''I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK 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.

My Thoughts:

Guys, why didn't I get along with this book?  I swear we had a mutual dislike for each other.  We gave each other evil glares and everything.  Please don't throw things at me.  I know that so many of you loved this one and I'm glad that it has an audience, it's just, that audience is clearly not me.  I wasn't going to do this review, but I did get 60% into it before I called it quits and I skimmed the end, because I wanted to know if I was missing the point of it all.  Sadly the end didn't make me want to pick it back up either.

The summary of this book had me extremely excited.  I'm a 80s kid myself and I'm addicted to the music of the time, so we seemed like we would be the perfect fit.  And who doesn't love misfits!  Misfits are the best.  And so many authors and bloggers that I like got behind this one, so I was disappointed when things worked out like they did.   

I think the thing that made me throw this book down and wave my fist at the heavens in frustration was Eleanor.  I just couldn't connect with her, at all.  She pitied herself so much that there was no room for me to join in.  She pushed people away and she didn't do anything about where she was.  Obviously, her family had been able to function without her in it, so why didn't she just leave in the beginning of the book?  I just didn't understand the fact that she had no fight left in her at all.  And when people wanted to help her, she pushed them away.  As a reader I felt like she was pushing me away too.  Which is either brilliant or terrible, depending on how you look at it.    

I have to admit that I didn't find the romance to be anywhere near cute and romantic.  It was awkward, and trust me I LOVE awkward, but this was just too much for me.  They practically go from not talking to dating, or something like dating, I'm not sure what that was?  The music and comics were a great touch.  I can't even deny that.  It was like this could have totally worked, but for me it didn't.  I didn't get why Park and Eleanor even ended up together on any level.  It was like they decided to get together because they sat next to each other everyday... 

And the end.  I mean the summary hints at a sad ending, but this book had such dark undertones that the end was extremely sad and just plain dark.  I wasn't expecting this book to be dark at all, but that's what it was.  Eleanor's messed up family got a hold of the story and creeped me out.

But honestly, don't take my word for it.  So many other people loved this book, so read some of their reviews.  Or read this one for yourself, cause maybe you'll love it?  You never know.

0 Unicorns = Did not finish, so I can't rate properly.


Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

aww it makes me so sad that this one didn't work for you! I absolutely adored this book and I really loved Eleanor. I can definitely see how it may not work for some though. I hope you have better luck with your next read!

Renae M. said...

Yes, exactly! I did go all the way to the end, but ugh, what a non-ending end that was. Eleanor's character was my major stumbling block as well. I could not for the life of me understand what was going on in her head or stand behind her actions. Maybe some people could relate, but I thought she just needed a good kick in the pants lol.

Jessica R said...

Aw, it's too bad this one didn't do much for you. I have actually held off on reading it for a bit because I wanted all the love to blow over a smidge before I reviewed in case I too didn't like it. I've heard a lot about how Eleanor's character can be frustrating and not easy to enjoy, and that is probably what I'm so worried about. I guess I'll see whenever I get brave enough to give it a try. Good to know, though, that if I don't like it, I won't be the only one!

Giselle said...

Oh wow it's nice to see the other end of the stick with this one after reading so many 5 stars. I always hunt for both sides to see waht to expect. I'm also an 80s kid too (well more raised in the 90s I guess - born in 84)! It sucks the fun right out of a book when you don't connect to the characters though. It can make a fantastic book suck, and usually it means the romance will not click much with you either. I do want to read this one to see what the full is about, and I often end up the black sheep so we'll see. I hope your next read is better. :(

Eileen said...

OMG YES I feel like I'm one of the only people who didn't enjoy this one, either!! I totally agree with Eleanor I couldn't connect with her she kept trying to change who she was for Park, and like not the personality, but like her body. She like sucked in and it was so aggravating ahh! Also, I totally agree with the romance they were confessing their undying love for each other forty pages after meeting each other O_O Fantastic review!

Jasprit said...

This ended up being a pretty disappointing read for me too Christianna. I adore the music references and the swapping comics on the bus, but I had a hard time connecting with Eleanor too, whereas I adored Park. Sorry you weren't able to enjoy this either. Great review!

Nicole said...

"She pitied herself so much that there was no room for me to join in." Yes. Ugh! Eleanor drove me crazy. AND I didn't find their romance believable. They went from never speaking and just judging each other to being in love. Not cool. I'm sorry you didn't like this but I'm glad to have more people who feel like I do hah! Thanks for sharing :D

Kate Bond said...

Boo. Fingers crossed that I disagree completely. It's SO PRETTY.