The Three Words of Eleanor and Park – A Discussion

I must’ve read Eleanor and Park around…a month ago? Yet, I just can’t stop thinking about what those stupid three words are! If you haven’t yet read Eleanor and Park, you’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about. But then again, if you haven’t yet read Eleanor and Park, it’d probably be best if you didn’t read this post. It’s full of spoilers. Usually, I’d redirect you to a review of Eleanor and Park but we haven’t one got one up yet – I think Mia will write one later on.


Yeah, sorry I’m kinda obsessed with Doctor Who right now.

Anyways, as I was saying, I’ve reread the last chapter so many times, read tons of author interviews, and fan discussions, and there is not a single place where Rainbow Rowell has accidentally slipped up those three words. I mean, come on, even her own mother doesn’t know what those words are!

Here’s a refresher of the last paragraph, if you can’t remember it.

“Eleanor hadn’t written him a letter.
It was a postcard. ‘Greetings from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.’ it said on the front. Park turned it over and recognized her scratchy handwriting. It filled his head with song lyrics.
He sat up. He smiled. Something heavy and winged took off from his chest.
Eleanor hadn’t written him a letter, it was a postcard.
Just three words long.”

What! You do not just end a book like that! Aaaah! Apart from *spoilers for Heroes of Olympus* the Percabeth Tartarus fall, Eleanor and Park was probably the second worst ending in a book I’ve ever read. *spoilers ended, you may continue* My initial thoughts, like probably everybody else, was that the three words would be ‘I love you.’ Park told Eleanor how much he loved her throughout the book, but Eleanor knew she couldn’t say the same about Park, not yet. ‘I love you’ seems most logical, doesn’t it? It must be ‘I love you’!

But no, why would it be that? If you’ve read any other of Rainbow Rowell’s books, you’d know she won’t let you off that easily. She wouldn’t write something as predictable as ‘I love you.’ That would be insane! Rainbow Rowell’s books are way too open and mysterious, there’s no way she’d use something as clichΓ© as I love you.

Now that we’ve abandoned ‘I love you.’, I’m thinking about something along similar lines, like ‘I miss you.’, or, ‘It’s not over.’ But I’m still not too sure…I don’t think it’s very likely that it would be something like that. Rainbow Rowell obviously wanted the readers to think it would be something along the lines of ‘I love you’, so I’m guessing that in reality, it’s something far, far away from that.

Here’s a snippet of an interview with Rainbow Rowell. It was in the back of my copy of Eleanor and Park, but you can also find the full interview on Rainbow Rowell’s website – it’s definitely worth reading, it’s hilarious!

“What are the three words at the end of Eleanor & Park?

Smell. You. Later.

What are the three words!?

Get. A. Job.”

Then there’s this really long passage about how the words are most definitely NOT ‘I love you.’ I told you it would be too nice of Rainbow Rowell to do that πŸ˜‚. To be honest though, Rainbow Rowell is way nicer to the readers than some other authors – at least she doesn’t KILL OFF HER MAIN CHARACTER *cough* Veronica Roth *cough*. Okay, we’re going off topic here. Back to those three words.

Do you know what I think the three words are? Well, I can’t give any specific words, as I’m rubbish at that kinda stuff, but I think Eleanor said something stupid, something funny, something…Eleanor-y. Everybody else thinks it would be something deep, something serious, such as ‘It’s not over.’. But I don’t think that’s like Eleanor. She’d want to pull a joke on Park, do something hilarious after months of no contact with him. The weight that left Park’s shoulder after reading the postcard must’ve been his worry lost. Park now knew that Eleanor wasn’t mad at him, or ignoring him on purpose. Of course he smiled at her joke. I think the three words were something light and humorous, far away from some of the deeper words other readers have come up with.

I wish Rainbow Rowell would write another book, or at least another story! It doesn’t have to be a whole book, chapter, or even a paragraph, I’d be just as happy with THREE WORDS!

What do you think? What were the last three words of Eleanor and Park? Do you agree with my thoughts, or are you still staying strong with ‘I love you.’?

Hope you enjoyed my first book discussion post! I’ll hopefully do a few more soon!

– V


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