Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
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.
I was very much excited to read Eleanor & Park, especially after first seeing its great cover and hearing all the buzz surrounding it from many readers and bloggers.
Unfortunately, it just wasn't the book for me. It had a wonderful start, and Park's inner monologues even had me laughing out loud in public, but I just didn't fall quite in love with Eleanor's narrative as I did with his. She came off as a bit whiny, which is understandable given her circumstances, but it grated on my nerves and got annoying quick.
The timidness the pair had at first, which blossomed into an odd friendship was great. The downfall came at about two pages later when the two were so madly in love and making their declarations to each other, which left me wondering if I'd skipped over a good portion of the novel as it all just seemed to happen way too fast. I was a teen once, and I know everything develops fast and intense at that age - relationships especially - but I figured since E & P seemed to be a story focusing on not-so ordinary teens, it'd be different and definitely more developed. Obviously not so much.
Basically, Eleanor & Park had a really great beginning - especially due to the oh, so charming Park, but I couldn't get past the abrupt and overdramatic romance. I will however, be interested in reading more of Rowell's work, including her adult debut, Attachments, which is currently sitting on my shelf.