Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #35: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Could I have to expand my so-called Holy Trinity to a Holy Quadrinity? Rainbow Rowell, that name of hers be damned, is sure making a case for it. I’ll withhold my final verdict until her third book, Fangirl, comes out, but her chances of reaching that same rarified company as King, Adams, and Vonnegut are looking good.

Again, Rowell hit me right in the feels, so much so that I was actually compelled to type “right in the feels,” a phrase I had avoided prior to now. Again, Rowell made me care so deeply about her characters and their happiness that I couldn’t, or at least didn’t want to, envision an ending which denied them that same happiness.

This isn’t a story of love at first sight. Park can barely stand to allow Eleanor to sit next to him at first. But, from there, things progress bit by bit until the two know nothing but their love for one another. It all could be easily construed as cloying instead of sweet, but Rowell balances it out with a fair share of darkness.

Think of Eleanor & Park as a strong cup of coffee with enough sugar and cream mixed in to make it look as white as Eleanor herself. Except, in this case, you can still taste the underlying bitterness of the coffee through it all, and yet you don’t mind because it makes everything that much sweeter.

Travis Smith’s blog, containing this review, as well as others, photography, and more, can be found here.

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