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
Such a beautiful, touching book. I laughed (a lot), I cried (a lot). Perfect for anyone born in or around 1986 as it takes place then and brings you back to the good old days of mixed cassettes and Morrissey. It reminds you of how simple and all-encompassing first love can be.
The narrator switched seamlessly between the two characters and brought nuances to his voice that helped me to really see and feel them. The writing, which lets the reader/listener see the reality of both character's experiences, has a strong conversational tone. Descriptions, words, and actions of the minor characters was inspired and brought clarity to the growth of Eleanor and Park.
Park - he was struggling to be true to himself in a time of life that can be daunting for many teens. Having had a teenage son, his voice was authentic.
When Eleanor hides in the RV and because of being disregarded by almost everyone in her life, she expects/fears that Park will do the same.
A book for teens and parents alike.
I loved this book soo much, the only thing that I hate is the ending. I love the conflicts and the tone in the readers voices, this book couldn't be better.
Life's good when I am listening to a great book.
I read many reviews of this novel before purchasing it. It seemed that adults were loving this book for its unique and long-lasting impressions. The narrative in this novel flows beautifully and the characters are interesting and somewhat realistic. Eleanor is facing bullying and an abusive stepfather while Park, a Korean-American teen, is coping with some difficult family and social issues of his own. The love relationship develops in these two out of need for friendship and for mutual support which was a beautiful premise. This was a sweet book about teenage romance, the depth of feelings involved, and the gap that these love relationships fill in the lives of budding adults. For a young adult, there are many topics to explore. It would be a great novel to discuss with teens but I am not so sure I would recommend it to adults unless it was to remind one of the pain and depth of the feelings involved with teen-age life and love.
Devourer of all books fantasy
This was an engaging read and I enjoyed it a lot. I wish the end had more closure though. I understand that the abstractness of the end is made to reflect the style of the story; it still kind of pissed me off with its incompleteness.
I listened to this on audiobook. The narrators did a wonderful job narrating. This is a book that I would highly recommend listening to on audiobook if you listen to audiobooks. I think it was probably better as an audiobook than it would be as a paper book.
Having grown up in the 80’s I really enjoyed the 80’s references throughout. I know this is dubbed as a love story; but there is also a lot in this story about abuse at home and bullying.
Eleanor has a pretty awful life right now. Her stepfather is abusive to her whole family and the fact that the kids at school decide to make her life miserable on top of all of this just broke my heart. She is strong in her own right and I am glad she fought to do what she could to keep herself sane and safe.
Eleanor faces a lot of tough decisions throughout the book and is constantly living in fear. I wish that she had felt more comfortable seeking help from her counselor or another adult; however I do understand that she really didn’t have any reason to trust adults. I hated that she was having to daily make choices between keeping herself safe and helping her siblings...that’s a horrible place to be.
I hated Eleanor’s mom for her weakness. I will never understand how women like Eleanor’s mom justify their decisions. Eleanor’s mom isn’t a bad person, she is not actively mean...she is just passive. She allows her husband to hurt her and her kids. Once in awhile there is a glimmer of rebellion when she tries to quietly stand up for one of her kids. Being a mother myself I will never understand women who willingly put themselves in a position where their kids don’t feel safe at home.
Park has his own issues but they pale compared to Eleanor’s. Seeing the contrast between the two characters was interesting. Park kind of struggled to understand Eleanor’s life and also struggled with how to help her. Park is in the middle of trying to accept his own differences and embracing who he is and Eleanor helps him do that.
I also thought Eleanor’s anger was portrayed well. Eleanor is angry at everything, but Park doesn’t know how to interpret this anger because their relationship is so new. It is a sweet relationship and does remind of the first time you fell in love with a boy/girl.
The only thing I really did not like about this book (I hated this enough to knock off half a star) was the lack of closure. I understand this is an artistic choice that Rowell made. However, I think it’s also a bit of a cope out. I mean come on; you get your readers all attached to these characters and then the story just stops. No closure, you don’t know where anyone ends up. It sucked bigtime. If this was the first book in a series I would be okay with that...but this is a stand alone and that was a sucky way to end this book.
Overall a very well written book that explores abuse, bullying, and love. This is an excellent coming of age story and I loved all the 80’s references. Generally I would recommend...unless you hate stories without closure. If you like closure to your stories I would skip this book; it’s just sooo frustrating that there’s no closure here.
i love this story i absolutely love the real love conection between eleanor & park😍😍😍 i just dont get y it had to end like that i cried my eyes out like 50% because it ended and 150% on how it ended 😭😭😭
I'm going to be honest, I didn't expect big things from this book. I thought it would be a basic teen novel that I could listen to when the work day was slow and didn't need to pay much attention. I was wrong, and I got nothing done at work once I started this audio book. This isn't your run of the mill teen love story, this is every cheesy feeling you ever had for your first love...with zero guilt. When you're young, you think your first love will last forever. When it doesn't, you look back and think of how silly and naive you were to think so. But this book reminds you of WHY you believed that, and then makes you wish it had....or at least that it will last forever for these two characters. Normally, this kind of book might make you gag or roll your eyes at the attempted "lovey dovey" comments...but the dialogue in "Eleanor and Park" will only make you smile. The book's romance is well-balanced with Eleanor's troubling home life, creating a well-rounded and more realistic plot. It'll tug on your heart strings, and leave you wishing there was just one more chapter.
I absolutely loved Rebecca and Sunil's narration. I loved it so much that I'm glad I listened to the book instead of read it. The only aspect of narration that was a little silly was Sunil's voice for Eleanor, but even that was lovable.
I'm a BIG fan of Rebecca Lowman. She is quite possibly my favorite audio narrator ever (and I've listened to over 200 books). Sunil was also fantastic and I hope to look for some of the books he's done. But this story...I wish I had the words. It had potential but fell flat. I can't even say much because it will spoil everything.
This was the book I needed at this very moment in time to remind me of the power of love, and the power of a lovely story to take you away, to the most lovely place even if only for a few days.
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