Friday, 30 May 2014

REVIEW: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Favourite Quote: “I want everyone to meet you. You're my favorite person of all time.”
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Goodreads Synopsis:
'Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.'

My Review

Let me start off by saying that I did not enjoy this novel. Please don't hate me.

I bought this book for one main reason - so many people seemed to enjoy the novel. Let me start off by saying that I don't usually buy books due to my lack of money. The only time I buy them is if a) No libraries have them and I really want to read it ASAP or b) I see a good price for the book or c) It is my favourite book. So I bought it online as no libraries in my area had any copies, patiently waited for it in the post and when it finally arrived read it. And boy, was I disappointed as I did not have the experience that others seemed to have with it. And the thing is, I'm not quite sure why. It has taken me a while to write this review for the simple fact that I'm not quite sure what it was about this novel that made me dislike it so much.

The story started off promising - two teenagers getting to know each other on a school bus. It sounded cute and sweet. However, that was it. Just them getting to know each other. Yes, there were the side storylines such as Eleanor's horrible family life and yes I did feel sorry for her. But there was nothing that made me want to keep reading. It got to the point where I was only reading just so that I could say that I have read it and mark as it 'read' on Goodreads.

I think what made me dislike it so much was that I got bored of it. I am a massive fan of romance stories. I am always the one fangirling over fictional characters who are in relationships. However, I failed to do that for this story. I think, for me, the reason was that I didn't particularly feel as though I knew the characters too well. I didn't feel as though I could relate to them and therefore didn't really care about their relationship. I wasn't a huge fan of Eleanor. I didn't really like her actions and at times I didn't feel as though she wanted to be in a relationship with Park. I felt as though she was dragging him along. Park was alright - I liked him more than I did for Eleanor. I liked his back story of how his parents met and his family life. But still, it wasn't enough for me to go 'hey, I actually like this character very much'. The only time when I actually cared for the characters or storyline was towards the end, in literally the last few chapters of the book. And I think the only reason was that there was action in it and that made me excited. Something was finally happening. It was like I could see a purpose for the story. I could go more into why I enjoyed that, but I don't want to spoil anyone on the outcome of the story for those who haven't read it.

I also wasn't fond of the ending either. It just ended. Here I was, finally becoming interested in the novel after that 'action' part in the end and then it just ended. I didn't really know what had happened and had to google it as it was one of those open - ended endings. It made me realise how much i dislike open-ended endings, especially when I was finally getting into the story.

Overall, I think the main reason why I disliked it was that I felt as though there was no purpose for the story, like no real 'goal' for the characters to reach in the end. I had no anxious feelings in my stomach trying to figure out what is going to happen or how it going to happen etc. I think, for me, there has to be some sort of action or bigger picture for the novel for me to like it, if that makes sense. I can see why people did enjoy this novel - it was sweet and adorable. However, I do hope though that if any of you do end up reading it, that you will enjoy it way more than I did

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