Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Format: E-bookeleanorandpark
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Standalone
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Hero: Park
Heroine: Eleanor
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 26, 2013
Started On: September 07, 2016
Finished On: September 08, 2016

Rainbow Rowell is an author who is completely in a league of her own in the way she makes her characters and stories come alive with so much emotion that it practically hurts you – but in a good way. Eleanor and Park is no exception to this rule, and though the ending was a bit hasty for my tastes after the grueling bouts of angst that Rowell puts readers through, this is a story that has stayed with me long after I was done with it.

Eleanor is the new girl, who with a style that does not fit in with the rest, makes Park want to get away from it all. But even then, with all his misgivings about her, he does slide over in the bus and gives Eleanor the seat next to him to sit. Thus Eleanor and Park finds themselves going through the motions of friendship which grows into something tender, stronger and wilder by the turn of each page, all right before your eyes. Their love unfurls in a setting that is as simple and ordinary as they come. At the back of a school bus that ferries them back and forth day in and day out.

While Park has a relatively good life, Eleanor’s is one that is filled with horrors of the kind we would all rather not even think about. The fact that her mother does try to protect her does not mean much in the face of what is as inevitable as night turning to day, and one cannot help but be appalled, scared and wanting to grab Eleanor right out of the pages and provide her with a safe haven.

Like most readers I believe, I loved the bits where Park started to communicate with Eleanor in subtle ways at first, which developed into something that was so wonderful that it made my heart ache. I could not put this down from the minute I started reading, and I would not have had it any other way. Eleanor and Park is a story that is meant to be read in one sitting, a story that is meant to be devoured, if nothing else, just to feel the thousand and one emotions that courses right through you from start to finish.

Definitely recommended!

Final Verdict: A love that leaves you aching and wanting; Eleanor & Park is a novel not to be missed!

Favorite Quotes

“I read it again twice last night. You can take it tonight.”
“Yeah? Thanks.”
He was still holding the end of her scarf, rubbing the silk idly between his thumb and fingers. She watched his hand.
If he were to look up at her now, he’d know exactly how stupid she was. She could feel her face go soft and gummy. If Park were to look up at her now, he’d know everything.
He didn’t look up. He wound the scarf around his fingers until her hand was hanging in the space between them.
Then he slid the silk and his fingers into her open palm.
And Eleanor disintegrated.

“I don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…”—her voice nearly disappeared—“think I live for you.”
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” she whispered. “Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath. That’s probably why I’m so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”

There’s only one of him, she thought, and he’s right here.
He knows I’ll like a song before I’ve heard it. He laughs before I even get to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes me want to let him open doors for me.
There’s only one of him.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | EbookMall | iTunes


Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Format: E-bookattachments
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Hero: Lincoln
Heroine: Beth Fremont
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 9, 2011
Started On: December 10, 2011
Finished On: December 10, 2011

Even as I write my review for Attachments, I can’t stop sighing all over my laptop, remembering those moments that made this book such an easy one to read, one that I wouldn’t be forgetting anytime soon. I still remember reading Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern and loving the book because it was different in the way it was presented and because packed into the book is a ton of emotion that just grabs you and holds onto you even long after you are done. And for me, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell turned out to be such a read, a fantastic one at that which I just loved to pieces.

If not for my friend Brie who tweeted about this book and its awesomeness, I would never even have known of its existence. And even though I grumbled a bit about the e-book being a bit too pricey, with such a high rating and recommendation from Brie I caved in and found myself reading, reading and reading some more until my iPad cried out from depleted battery levels. I couldn’t stop myself from reading, the characters and the way the story is presented working its charm and magic over me until I was holding my breathe waiting to see what would happen next.

28 year old Lincoln is an Internet Security Officer at The Courier. His job entails reading through employee e-mails, to find out whether they are using the Internet in the most productive manner. When Lincoln stumbles upon the e-mails exchanged between two friends and co-workers Jennifer Scribner-Snyder and Beth Fremont, Lincoln is drawn towards the warmth and the obvious camaraderie between them right from the start. Though Lincoln doesn’t like the fact that he acts as a spy over other workers and tells himself that he shouldn’t read their e-mail exchanges, he can’t help himself from developing a fascination for Beth even though he doesn’t know her from Eve.

Beth and Jennifer’s characters and their lives are portrayed through the e-mails exchanged between the two friends while Lincoln’s life is told as it happens with blasts from the past that serves to make him a character that is just that more endearing. Lincoln is a man who is trying to find where he fits. He is shy and an introvert, whose first and only girlfriend had dumped him 9 years ago. Though Lincoln knows he ought to do something to change his life, he continues to live with his mother, work at a job that he hates and stays on the sidelines afraid to let himself be known even when his feelings for Beth progresses from fascination to love. Lincoln’s character is just plain adorable, no two ways about it and he says the sweetest things, lines that just brought a huge smile to my face as I read along.

The friendship between Beth and Jennifer is such a heartwarming one. They support each other wholeheartedly, are there for one another when it counts and at times the e-mails between them are laugh-out-loud variety hilarious. I found myself bursting out into laughter several times, earning myself some weird looks and enquiries from my husband which I just shooed away because I was that engrossed in what was happening.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the novel was to see how Lincoln’s character “grew” throughout the story, taking those little steps that turns his life around. It is his innate kindness and the way he loves oh so wholeheartedly that just makes him one fantastic hero. And seeing how Jennifer, Beth and Lincoln’s characters all come together, the “cute guy” that Beth can’t help but talk about in her e-mails turning out to be none other than Lincoln that served as the icing on the cake. The ending when it came was a sweet one, one that I can’t help but sigh over even now.

Some might label this as chic-lit rather than romance, but this is romance genre at its best, heartwarming characters, compelling storytelling and a happily ever after that just felt so real and believable in so many ways. Recommended for everyone and anyone who loves romances; this one’s for you!

Favorite Quotes

(Sam) ‘Didn’t you ever wonder what it would be like to be with someone else?’ And you’ll say …Lincoln, what will you say?”
“I’ll say, ‘No.’”
“That’s not very romantic.”
“It’s none of their business.”
“Tell me, then,” she said, unbuckling her seat belt and putting her arm around his waist. “Tell me now, won’t you ever wonder what it would have been like to be with someone else?”
“First, buckle up,” he said. She did. “I won’t wonder that because I already know what it would be like to be with someone else.”
“How do you know?” she said.
“I just do.”
“Then, what would it be like?”
“It would be less,” he said.

“No,” he said. “No, I’ll never wonder what it would be like to have sex with someone else for the same reason I don’t want to kiss anyone else. You’re the only girl I’ve ever touched. And I feel like it was supposed to be that way. I touch you and my whole body …rings. Like a bell or something. And I could touch other girls, and maybe there would be something, you know, like maybe there would be noise. But not like with you. And what would happen if I kept touching and touching them, and then …and then, I tried to touch you again? I might not be able to hear us anymore. I might not ring true.”

“Why are they doing that?” his mother said, frowning at her grandsons. The boys were sorting the casserole into piles on their plates.
“Doing what?” Eve asked.
“Why aren’t they eating their food?”
“They don’t like it when things touch,” Eve said.
“What things?” his mother asked.
“Their food. They don’t like it when different foods touch or mix together.”
“How do you serve dinner, in ice cube trays?”

“I’d know you in the dark,” he said. “From a thousand miles away. There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.”

“Lincoln?” she (Beth) asked.
“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
He made himself look at her face, at her wide-open eyes and earnest forehead. At her unbearably sweet mouth.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Do you believe in love before that?”
Her breath caught in her throat like a sore hiccup.
And then it was too much to keep trying not to kiss her.

“I pictured a girl who made every moment, everything she touched, and everyone around her feel lighter and sweeter.
“I pictured you,” he said. “I just didn’t know what you looked like.
“And then, when I did know what you looked like, you looked like the girl who was all those things. You looked like the girl I loved.”