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Eleanor & Park | [Rainbow Rowell]

Eleanor & Park

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1325 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    FanB14 04-27-14
    FanB14 04-27-14

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4816
    ratings
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    "E + P 4-ever!"

    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.

    52 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 04-14-14
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 04-14-14 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Pure Heartstrings -- A Great Story"

    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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Princess Taylor 05-21-14 Member Since 2013

    Lover of the magic of movies | Fan of risk takers and believers | Indulger in games and imagination | Reader of words that touch souls

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hanging on every lyric, and every word."

    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.)

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calvin 07-22-14
    Calvin 07-22-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Don't believe the hype"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The book was decent. It was not as good as a john green book. Eleanor is whiny and difficult. Park made the romance worthwhile


    Would you recommend Eleanor & Park to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. This book was not worthwhile. There were some cute parts, but it was like a movie that's not worth seeing in theaters. If you have the book already, read it. Otherwise, keep shopping


    Have you listened to any of Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Do you think Eleanor & Park needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    absolutely not......unless its about park


    Any additional comments?

    this book is average at best. I would've reread the fault in our stars if I knew this book was just ok

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. parkinson 07-11-14 Member Since 2015

    book addict

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Beautiful!"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Bexley 03-02-15 Member Since 2014
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    "The ending!!!"

    The ending left me completely unfulfilled. The book was very well narrated. But the ending....it left me begging for answers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kmac0217 01-17-15
    Kmac0217 01-17-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better to Read Than Listen To"

    This was performed a bit too dramatically for me. More so by the female narrator. I was also disappointed by the story. I kept waiting for something big to happen and it never really did. I was also disappointed in the writing. Especially when I kept hearing "he said" and "she said" at the end of each sentence.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer PARIS, TX, United States 10-20-14
    Amazon Customer PARIS, TX, United States 10-20-14 Member Since 2008

    Lawyer, reader, writer, performer. Just love listening to books and talking about it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best Such Book Since Fault in Our Stars"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 07-31-13
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 07-31-13 Member Since 2011

    I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Book - Horrible Ending"

    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.

    25 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley 04-06-13
    Ashley 04-06-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Must Listen"
    If you could sum up Eleanor & Park in three words, what would they be?

    Charming, Funny, and Heartbreaking


    What does Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. And I have listened to it twice, since.


    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
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