Recently, I’ve been thinking about how opinions of books that we’ve read change over time. Books we originally loved might not be as great as we thought. Books we hated might actually be fantastic. Does it even matter if the opinion changes? This got me thinking about some of my favourite books that I haven’t re-read in ages. Will my opinion of them have changed over time? So I’ve set out on a mission to re-read some of my favourite books and to see if my opinion has changed. As you can probably tell, I’ve decided to start with Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell which is a special book to me. It was the first Rainbow Rowell book that I ever read and whilst it’s not my favourite (I re-read Fangirl all the time and I know that I still love it), it’s still very special to me. So did my opinion change?
In short, no but also yes. I never reviewed Eleanor and Park on this blog(I did review it on a blog that I had but that was a terrible review on a terrible blog) so I didn’t have a review to look back at but I did remember some things that I loved about it.
My favourite thing about this book was the writing and it still is. I love basically every sentence that Rainbow Rowell writes because each sentence is so beautifully crafted. If I could show you how many tabs are in this book, you’d think I’m weird.
So how did my opinion change? I still love this book but less than I did originally, which was to be expected. I first read it 3 years ago and a lot has changed since then. I see how Eleanor can be quite irritating and how their relationship isn’t perfect by any means. But I still love it. Eleanor is realistic. She’s not great but nobody is. The same applies to their relationship. It was never going to be a perfect honeymoon-esque relationship since it is based on insecurities and differences and sometimes all of that just affects it all.
You can’t talk about Eleanor and Park without talking about the ending. I loved it the first time I read it and I still love it now. I won’t spoil it for those of you guys who haven’t read it but it’s realistic to me. It’s not a light-hearted contemporary, for sure. Instead it’s a realistic romance story set in 1986 between two people who the world don’t want to be together.
So yes, I still love Eleanor and Park, even though I can recognise the problems with it. I have actually read some reviews from people who didn’t like it but I still love it. I don’t really know how to explain why I still love it despite all of that. Maybe because it felt real and also because I just love the way that Rainbow Rowell writes.
Disclaimer: Yes, a lot of people might hate me for not hating this book because it is racist but that’s a whole other thing that I don’t want to get into. I definitely don’t know enough about it and if I start, somebody will definitely start hating on me.