Monday, 3 June 2013

I, Reader: ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell

Highlighting a book I've read this month
which has been inspiring
and brilliant, and why.
I'm starting off this post with a confession: I don't read much contemporary YA. As in, at all. I've just gone through my entire YA book collection to count how many I've read in the last few years...the grand total is 4. And one of those is stretching the contemporary label a bit.

But I do try to flex my reading muscles as much as my writing ones, and decided I was (for once) going to read the book all the cool kids are shouting about: ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell. Man, am I glad I did.

**Don't forget to comment below for your chance to win a copy!** - NOW CLOSED

Here's the blurb, nicked from Amazon:

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.
Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mixed tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose. 
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor and Park is funny, sad, shocking and true - an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.

Why did this book stand out?

This book is set in the 80s (I'd thought the 80s were pretty much taboo in YA, so was pleasantly surprised by this... and does that technically make this historical rather than contemp?) and I loved all the era details woven into the story.

Eleanor and Park embody the awkwardness of teen misfits who are growing into their own selves. There was an innocence to both the main characters without them being overly naive, and this also appealed to me. I remember feeling the way they do at various points in their story, and it's so well done that I felt I was reliving it, not remembering it.

I actually downloaded a sample to my kindle, read a few pages, downloaded the whole book, and didn't move until I'd finished it. I was seriously that engrossed by the characters and their story (even without robots and lasers and dragons), which is why I had to make it my I, Reader book for this month.

Have you read ELEANOR & PARK yet?

Leave a comment by 9pm GMT on Thursday, 6th June for your chance to win a copy of the book. One commenter will be chosen at random (there will be a hat involved).  - NOW CLOSED


  1. Looks like your followers are just going to hand me this book.

    Eleanor and Park sounds great. I've heard nothing but good things about it. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

  2. Oh my gosh, I clicked through so fast when I saw you were giving away a copy. Fingers crossed!

  3. I want to read this book SO badly!!!! Pick me! Pick me!!! ;)

  4. That is on my list to read! Glad you liked it. Will read it for sure.

  5. oooh. thanks, Kat, for reading the book and passing it along. I love reading free sample pages and becoming hungry for more. TBR, baby. :)

  6. This book is so fantastic - I'd love to win a copy! :)

  7. This isn't a book I'd heard of (guess I'm not one of the cool kids!), but it does sound fun.

  8. Sounds intriguing... You ship to the US? :P I guess it's time I get in the "cool" crowd with the writer folks, and read the genre! Come on Irish Luck!! Win me cool stuff!

  9. *raises hand* *tries to look the most innocent and deserving*

  10. I'm totally game to read an YA Contemp that Kat liked... and I'm 80's kid :) I was surprised (&glad) to see The perks of being a wall flower and it's 80-ish style was such a hit as well.

    1. I really need to read that too :)

  11. I write contempary YA and have heard amazing things about E&P. Would love to read it!

  12. I've read many positive reviews and most of them are as enthusiastic as yours, so I'm really really tempted to get this! Added to my TBR list for sure!

    Marlene Detierro (Colorado Springs Boiler Service)

  13. I recently saw this at the bookstore and almost bought it because I'd haven't heard anything about it - but now I regret not purchasing it.

    Marlene Detierro (Cash for Gold)


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