This is a fantastic story. The dialogue is captivating and the narrators did an amazing job bringing the story to life. I've listened to books where I just wished the voice was different because if I was reading it to myself, it would sound different and deserved to sound different. Not so with this story.
But this is not a simple story. Eleanor lives in a dangerous household with an abusive step father, a powerless mother, a biological father who is also a loser and four younger siblings who are needy and just as trapped as Eleanor. Park, who other reviewers also call a misfit, is a product of a loving, stable home life one block away. He is a typical teenager wondering how he fits in. Yes he's part Asian, and his father flips out when he takes to wearing eyeliner, but his parents support and love him in all the right ways.
A touching, hold your breath story with enchanting prose and dialogue. I loved this audio book.
Oh, my – how do I begin? Well, first, let me say that I haven’t read a YA book in a while. I’m climbing the bookish equivalent of Mount Everest this year – aka making my way through the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin and it is brutal. So maybe I went into this book not sure what to expect? I don’t know what happened. I had hopes of romance and swooning and first love a la Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, but that’s not what I got. Instead I got this amazing boy whom I adored and a girl that annoyed me.
The description says that you’ll remember your own first love, and while it did have moments that reminded me of what it’s like to fall in love for the first time, I just couldn’t connect with Eleanor. Was she in a bad situation? Yes, but in times like those, you either let it make you or break and I feel like she let it break her. Again, yes, she’s 16 and “helpless” but all I’m saying is that 16 is old enough to call the police and not give a second thought to “Oh, is my mom going to be mad that I’m doing something that she as 40 something year old can’t?”
The saving grace for me in this book is Park – not only the character but his POV (the book is alternating POVs). Without Park, this book would have probably been a Did Not Finish. Park – my sweet, sweet boy – WHY do you even like Eleanor? She pushes you away, is an emotional rollercoaster and disaster, and has got to be the most self-deprecating character I’ve read in a while – she puts Edward Cullen from Twilight to shame.
And speaking of favorite characters, I’ve got to say my overall favorite character (and the one I think is most like me) was Park’s mom. She’s an Avon lady who loves makeup, nails, and hair – AND she always wants to make other people over.
I will say that I really enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s writing style and I’m reading her next book, Fangirl, right now and absolutely loving it. So it’s just this particular book that didn’t do it for me. Also, the narrator for Eleanor on the audiobook was not the best so that probably played into things a bit.
I put this book on my Everyone Loved But Me shelf as there are no less than TWENTY 5 star reviews from my friends on GoodReads. Maybe I’m the misfit in this story.
The story written well and I connected with the characters but it was a depressing story overall. The story end abruptly and there's no conclusion as to what happened to any of the characters.
This story is amazing. Heartwarming and heart breaking. Very well written and performed The story of Eleanor and Park grabs you and doesn't let go, not even after its over.
Yes, it was great. Both readers did a fantastic, sensitive job.
Aside from the main characters, I like the English teacher. He was roll-your-eyes enthusiastic. He asked the important question in the story.
Very tender, sensitive reading.
Can teen love survive?
There is swearing, a lot, especially right at the beginning, but many people do talk that way, and many kids do when they are trying out their growing-up.This is a teen novel, but it addresses many things. There are different kinds of dysfunctional families, yet some work--those are more probably the ones we call normal. Kids can be cruel, but adults can be criminally cruel. Kids can also be supportive and understanding and so can parents, surprisingly. It is easy to tell kids, "Just talk to a trusted adult," but when your life is eggshells, who can you trust? Is young love less valid than mature love? And then, there is the English teacher's question.
While listening to this story you will definitely go back in time. You'll remember how you felt when you loved the first time. How you felt when you were growing up and being judged by the world. How you felt when you touched the very first person you loved. How you felt when your heart got broken the first time. Then you realized that eventually life will go on no matter what happens. You'll remember all the struggles you had when growing up.
This book will let you remember all those feelings as if it were all happening again.