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.
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.
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.)
What a great book. These smart books for teens are really a treat. I am definitely not a teen but thoroughly enjoyed this listen. The quirky imperfect characters just have a way of drawing you in. Her writing just feels very real and ordinary in a good way. And Rebecca' Lowman is really a fantastic narrator.
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.
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 cried A LOT!
After hearing from so many people who loved this book and after reading John Green’s awesome review of Eleanor & Park, I was really looking forward to reading this book.
First of all, I am quite pissed off with the ending. There was something that I was waiting, and Waiting, and WAITING for that I thought would happen sometime throughout the entire book, and then something happens in the very end that only “implies” that this particular thing “might have” happened. BUT I wanted Rainbow Rowell to SPELL IT OUT!!!! I want to know what those three friggin’ words were on that dang post card. I have my hopes about what they mean but, based on this particular character, her actions are not always what you really expect or hope for.
OK…I have a lot of emotions over this book. I think I was a little guarded through a lot of the book because I was constantly bracing myself for something awful to happen. And yes, something awful does happen and, even though I was trying to prepare myself for the worst, I didn’t think it would happen like that…so I was all thrown off. You want to know if I cried? Yep!!! I cried…a lot. But it was all worth it…and it would be even more worth it if Rainbow would actually tell us what’s on that post card. *sigh*
What I loved most about this book is how well the characters were put together. First, there are Park’s totally hilarious parents who seem to be making out all the time in every corner of the book. And then there are the all-around horrific parents of Eleanor who make you want to climb right into the book and give Eleanor a giant hug. There’s also the change in Park’s personality from the beginning of the book to the end, and then there’s Eleanor who seems like she doesn’t care what people think about her on the outside but, on the inside, she’s ALL messed up. And last there are those characters that ended up surprising me at the end of the book! Loved it!
This is a very quick read that takes you through a lot of emotions, but the best part is the very fun, intense romance that seems like it should be totally awkward, but is OH!!! SO PERFECT!
I love adventure and any thing that makes me laugh. I am somewhat drawn to books of teenage angst.
I really liked the characters in this book. While in some respects the characters were just surviving their teenage years and the makeup of their world, they still were on a journey. The characters were dynamic. I enjoyed the way the book was written, short chapters from specific characters. The ending was thought provoking and appropriate to the characters.
The book really spoke to personal image in some ways. I liked the scene when Park's mom made over Eleanor and her response and process. I liked the contrast between Eleanor's parents and Park's parents. I loved Park's dads reaction to the fight.
The ending, last scene, was perfect.
I am afraid to see this book made into a film because there is so much that goes on internally with the characters that would be difficult to relay on the big screen.
In someways this book was a sappy teen romance, but it touched on some real and serious themes that deserve discussion. I enjoyed this book.
Eleanor and Park perfectly captured what it's like to be madly in love at 16 years old. The narrators did an amazing job of capturing the tone, nuance and inflection of both characters. I couldn't stop listening and it was one of the few novels I didn't zoom right through at 2x speed. Beautifully written and a total gem
I downloaded this book because I had already read it twice before and loved it and I wanted to try audiobooks while driving and see how it went. I'm kind of biased in that way because I love the story and the characters and everything about this book, so it is still my favourite. However, I did not like the narrators, Rebecca Lowman made the characters sound kind of depressed (also noticed it when she read another Rainbow Rowell book) and I didn't like the way she did the voices, also i couldn't stand the way the Sunil Malhotra did the voices when women were talking (be it park's mom or Eleanor or whoever) it sounded weird and fake, like he didn't know how women are supposed to talk.
No, I tried with Rebecca Lowman where she read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell as well and I sitll didn't like it.
This book makes you go through a whole array of emotions, so worth it, even if you don't like the narrators.
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