Audie Award Finalist, Teens, 2014
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year, in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love - and just how hard it pulled you under.
©2013 Rainbow Rowell (P)2013 Listening Library
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Finally, after wading through lots of simple, boring teen books, this little gem arrives. Without my Entertainment Weekly Bible, I wouldn't have discovered this fantastic teen love story, coming to a movie screen soon near you.
Eleanor is back with her Mom, step-Dad and four siblings in a miserable household attending a new school in 1986, finding an unlikely friend in Park. Both points of view shine light on the loneliness, isolation, bullying, and the dare to hope and connect in the world of teenage angst. When Eleanor thinks she's fat, Park describes her as beautiful. Couldn't wait to hear what the other had to say about the same situation.
This book is well-written, almost like Rowell popped the top on the teen brain with all the first, raw emotions spilling out into a funny, lugubrious, intense singular story line with the perfect ending. Just bought his newer book, "Fangirl" and am excited to see Rebecca Lowman is narrating as well. She and Sunil Malhotra were fantastic in "Eleanor and Park". This was an excellent read.
Lover of the magic of movies | Fan of risk takers and believers | Indulger in games and imagination | Reader of words that touch souls
I loved this book. Such real characters, a realistic yet frightening thread weaving the plot together at the seam, a legitimate love story (involving high schoolers, who knew.) it was another "Perks of a Being a Wallflower" for me in that had that coming-of-age feel with the dark under note that I kept thinking I knew the history and the stakes but that made me feel it all the more when 'mostly' everything was reveled (because honestly, in real life, no one really knows what's going on with a person right in front of us unless they say the words.)
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
This novel's plot was not what I was expecting -- but tuned out to be more than I could have hoped for. It is a fresh story, with a steady plot-line that you won't guess. There is something in this story for everyone. Rowell manages to tell this teen story without resorting to over dramatic devices. There is plenty of tension and conflict and the story raises as many why's as it offers answers. This book appeals to folks of all ages. It helps you remember first love, so it does appeal to the romantics in all of us.
The story is told both form Eleanor's and Parks perspectives in alternating points of view which enhances the story. Often, this device can be distracting; but not in this novel. There are many nerves that get jangled as the story unfolds. I highly recommend you read this wonderful story.
Tell me a story
This book has terrible language! So if that is something that bothers you, you should skip this one. It starts out with Park seeing a girl with red hair and wondering if it's Eleanor. After finishing the book I'm glad the author put that part in because it hints that it might not end the way I wanted it to. I like how we get to see things from both Eleanor & Park's point of view. Both narraters did a great job. Park is such an amazing character! These two end up falling hard for eachother, but the love story that really got to me was the love between Park's mom and dad and in turn their love for Park. I feel like they really tried to accept Park's choices even if they didn't really understand them. I loved this book! And while it doesn't end exactly the way I wanted, I found the ending hopeful.
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
Eleanor is a poor high school girl. Her mother lives with a scum bag and mom puts the creep first. After all, he puts 'food on the table.' The idiot makes life hell for Eleanor and her younger siblings, to the point where Eleanor was kicked out and homeless for some time.
Eleanor has unruly red hair and dresses in strange, not conforming clothing from the Salvation Army. She meets Park, a good looking boy in high school who takes a liking to her. She can barely believe it, but the two of them have a very strong, special relationship and Eleanor finds herself falling in love.
The relationship is on shaky grounds because of Eleanor's familial situation, and she worries about the future and what will happen. Park defends Eleanor to the point of getting his face fractured when someone (everyone does it) makes fun of her.
Throughout the trials of their lives, Eleanor and Park have a most special relationship and it's told with a beautiful narrative voice. This novel will stick the listener forever- I will never forget it's poise, beauty, and prose.
5 stars- brava Rainbow Rowell!
The whole young adult genre is a wasteland that I don't usually dip my toe into. But when a book like Eleanor & Park comes along that I've heard nothing but adoration and praise I had to jump in. I'm a big sucker for a good "coming of age" story which is what I thought I was getting myself into. Eleanor & Park is that but its actually a lot deeper then I would have expected. The story of both Eleanor & Park two kids who aren't comfortable in their own skin get to live in their own world together. They each have their own demons to face, although Eleanor's were far more pronounced, Park had his fair share as well. To see both kids face those while dealing with the normal day-to-day trauma that is High School was extremely interesting. There were times that I got stressed out for both of them.
The one issue I had with Eleanor & Park was the ending. It didn't nail the landing. There is a story arch that overlays the two characters that comes to an end sort of abruptly and so too does the book. I'm fine with where Rainbow Rowell took the two characters I just didn't think the path in which they took to get there was the most satisfying.
With that being said Eleanor & Park is a book that's an incredible journey. There were aspects that I didn't love but the overall journey is one of the most enjoyable ones I've had all year. Its one that made me want to sit down and read a comic or listen to some 80's punk music. It's a captivating story that brings you in and makes you care deeply for both of its characters. The ending felt rushed but that wasn't enough to spoil what otherwise was an incredible journey.
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
Warning: you are going to want to read this from cover to cover. What a profound young love story, which raises so many great questions. Why do we read Romeo and Juliet? Is young love, against all the odds, always doomed? Who / what are the Montagues and Capalets of today (or even if the 80s in this book)? Why do opposites attract? Do you have to conform to society's rules? What would you do for love? What would you do for survival?
Eleanor is chubby and has red hair. Lots of red hair. Enough so that she is quickly dubbed Big Red at her new highschool. Eleanor's dad is selfish and absentee. Her mom's husband is scary and abusive, and so mom can't / doesn't help Eleanor, even with such simple needs as clothing or toothbrushes. Eleanor isn't "nice" -life hasn't given her that chance- but there is something about her - like the way she was able to read that poem in English her first day. She is smart and unique, and beautiful just as she is.
Park couldn't be more opposite. His parents are actually still in love, and though they have their moments, they love him and are supportive and somehow pretty wise. Park is cool and even exotic looking, taking after his Korean mother. Park is into music and constantly makes tapes of his favorite songs to listen to, while reading his comic magazines.
Park has a whole seat on the bus and, not without regret, is the only one who allows Eleanor to sit. Soon he realizes that she is reading his comics with him.
Now, see, you do want to know what happens next.
Charming, Funny, and Heartbreaking
Initially, I thought I wasn't going to like them. The story starts off subdued, but after an hour, I was in love with their narration. The dual narratives in this book are really great, as they let you get to know both Eleanor and Park, and the dual narrators really helped to emphasize the differences.
Sunil Malhotra makes Park's parents so much more vibrant (I contend they are the best YA parents I've ever read). I didn't LOVE his version of Eleanor's voice, but it worked.
Rebecca Lowman does an amazing Eleanor AND an amazing Park. I didn't LOVE her version of Park's mom, but again, it worked.
Yes. And I have listened to it twice, since.
I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.
I actually went to Barnes and Noble to look at the actual ending of this book to make sure there wasn't something wrong with audible download. Towards the end everything fell apart...large gaping holes in the story line and lots of questions unanswered and not in a good way. I loved everything about all of the characters and was so interested in what happened to them and it never pays off. The author goes right up to the edge of the cliff but never jumps off....ugh so frustrating.
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