Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Isn’t the point of reading to escape reality?

CAUTION: SPOILERS (Lots of them!)

 Goodreads Rating: 4.12 Stars

Description: Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… 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. 

WHAT?! How can a book just end like that?! I loved this book so much until I turned the page and there was nothing left. I need more. I feel like the ending that is given leaves so many unanswered questions! I hate being left hanging!

Does he talk to her?

Does he see her again?

Are all the kids in Minnesota now?

I need the answers! I don’t think I necessarily want a sequel because I don’t think it would work, but I still need my answers! Very rarely have I been left so unsatisfied from a book. The worst part is I actually liked most of the book.

I am the type of person that likes to read to escape reality. While Rowell gave the most realistic ending possible, it was not want I wanted. I don’t want super realistic stories. I want happy endings. Books are not supposed to be reality! Reading helps me to escape into a different world. Into a different life.

I loved watching Eleanor and Park discover their feelings for each other. I loved Park loving Eleanor for exactly who she was. I love that Park didn’t see the things that she hated about herself. I loved that Eleanor called him the “stupid, asian kid.” I loved that Eleanor really didn’t want to admit how much she needed him. I loved everything about it except the ending.

One positive thing I will say about the ending is that I like the fact that it takes her so long to say “I love you” to him. She doesn’t say it quickly or lightly. It is clear she loves him, but she never actually says it. I like the fact that she had walls and boundaries. I like that fact that even after she knocks most of them, some are still there until the very end.

This book would have gotten 5 out of 5 stars from me had the ending been slightly different or if just a few of my questions had been answered. However, this is the way it is. So I give it 3 out of 5 stars. I have a hard time forgiving a book when the ending disappoints me so much.

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