To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Bonnie N. Tilton
5.0 out of 5 starsI adore this wonderful book.
Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2016
I am still wiping my eyes. They refuse to stop weeping. I do not know what ages this book was written for, but I am 81, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I wish I could add an extra star or two. Thank you.
“Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”
Can you all believe I had never read this book until now? Yeah, neither can I. Because that is CRAZY! To be fair, I put it off a lot. In a weird way that doesn't make sense, I didn't want to ruin Fangirl. And this book didn't, I still love Fangirl, I just have a different kind of love for Eleanor and Park.
This book is about two outcast teens who become friends when they are forced to sit next to each other on the bus to and from school. At first, they don't really understand each other, but as time goes by, they want to get to know each other and develop an amazing friendship, and then romance.
“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.”
This is going to be a shorter review because I think everyone has already said all the things about this book. But MY HEART. This book made me wish that men like Park existed in real life, because no man could measure up to this guy. And Eleanor, I bled for that girl. I just wanted to hug her and tell her she was beautiful and that someone cared.
Anyways, if you are stupid like me and haven't read this book, you need to correct this giant mistake asap. You won't regret this one!
“I don't like you, Park," she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. "I..." - her voice nearly disappeared - "think I live for you." He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow. "I don't think I even breathe when we're not together," she whispered. "Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it's been like sixty hours since I've taken a breath. That's probably why I'm so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we're apart is think about you, and all I do when we're together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I'm so out of control, I can't help myself. I'm not even mine anymore, I'm yours, and what if you decide that you don't want me? How could you want me like I want you?" He was quiet. He wanted everything she'd just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with 'I want you' in his ears.”
I love a love story. I’m not done reading the book as yet. But so far...it’s cute. Now here’s why I’m writing an early review..... the author is a middle-class White women and this story has a racist undertone not gonna lie. My issue is that I’m not sure if Rockwell herself has any experience with folks of Color or not(considering she is very much from middle American aka....Nebraska) but her descriptions of Black or of other races besides White is very disappointing. The “Black Girls” in the book names are just that “Black Girls”. Character descriptions are very stereotypical and vague. They have no name or backstory aka no place in this White woman’s love story basically. Park one of the main characters “looks Asian” again very distasteful and stereotypical. My close friend is of East Asian decent.She “doesn’t look Asian”. But she is.Park is half Korean. So ha! He doesn’t look Chinese? Which is also a stereotype..... a very played out one. Main character is a fat red head White girl whom by the way Rainbow wrote her character, we are made to feel really really bad for her. Which feeds Into the “White Woman or girl” narrative of always being a victim. Park who is of color does not have it as bad as Eleanor a White girl. Who is written as remarkably poor. Even though she has privilege to be judged by her character not just a “Black Girl” 😑or perhaps “looking Asian” aka she has the luxury of being acknowledged and or existing. So all this to say if you don’t know any people of color hunny write just a White story. Don’t include us by the way you perceive us. It’s offensive as well distasteful. This really made me cringe while reading. And at one point one of the White characters says “Jungle Fever” is a Black thing”. Listen don’t reference a Spike lee film in such a distasteful manner. Smfh Especially when the author most likely has not viewed Do The Right Thing. A film about intolerance. And ultimately the reality was no one really did the right thing. Oh and let me not get started on how she wrote the Asian character’s mother very very very stereotypical. Not a good look. Don’t include us in your story on your racist terms. Stick to what you know.
It’s started out cute. The beginning of the story actually developed pretty quickly. Author could’ve done better in introducing characters (It took me a long time to figure out Richie’s role). As for Eleanor, I feel like the author tried too hard to portray Eleanor as the “poor pitiful girl”. As I approached the middle of the book, it reached a plateau. Eleanor would get mad at Park for petty things. The storyline also dragged on. So boring. They annoying part was flipping back and forth from Park and Eleanor’s narrative. I was halfway into the book (took me maybe two hours) and decided I’ve had enough. I jumped to last chapter and was so disappointed in how it ended! Although I understood what happened, It still seemed vague. No closure! I’m glad I didn’t waste my time reading the rest of the book.
3.0 out of 5 starsUltimately left unsatisfied. Overhyped.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 12, 2017
Perhaps it was the ridiculous amount of hype surrounding this book, or the author in general, that resulted in me expecting a serious masterpiece, and which ultimately left me feeling a little... unsatisfied. The novel was reasonably well-written, with diverse characters, and it had some serious tug-on-the-heart-strings moments. But the ending was infuriating, the plot wasn't without its problems, and overall it didn't blow me away like I was willing it to.
While the book does have a slow-burning cute romance, and a hefty amount of more serious family issues, I really struggled with the fact that for me, the majority of the romance was so unbelievable.
I read this book on a plane journey and literally read it from start to finish without putting it down.
It is a YA novel about a teen romance, so something we have all seen before, but it was somehow very different from the average novel of this genre. Eleanor and Park are both so well written they seem completely real, and it feels like their relationship could and would happen in real life. The way they communiate on their bus journeys was just so touching, and was so authntic as to how teenage romances are in the beginning.
It also meant a lot that the main characters were more diverse than the norm. In YA fiction, I have never come across a female protagonist who was described as fat, unless the story involved her losing weight in order to achieve her happily ever after. This is not the case with Eleanor. She is not thin, and that's just how it is. She still gets the guy, and still deserves to be happy and in love - a mesaage that young girls could do with hearing much more often. Park is also the first Korean leading man that I have read about, and there is a passage in the book that refers to how asian men are often overlooked, so it is good to see a character like this in the limelight, discussing openly what it is like to grow up in a household like his.
There are some painful experiences for the characters in this book, along with some moments of sheer happiness and excitement, and as a reader I felt like I lived through all of these moments with them. Eleanor has a tough life, but she finds an escape with Park, and this means that the book remains hopeful, even through the dark moments.
This is a wonderful YA book, the best I have read in a while.
4.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful book - just unsure about the ending.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 4, 2016
Wow. This book started off fast paced and beautifully. I couldn't put it down, I devoured it in a few days (and the times I wasn't reading it I was wanting to read it and it was all I could think about). The story focuses on Eleanor, a chubby girl with curly red hair who is very insecure, and Park, an Asian boy who loves superheros and keeps himself to himself. She has to sit next to him on the bus on her first day of school (when the bus hierarchy has already been established), and their love blossoms. She is bullied by the other kids, but she takes it in her stride and tries her best to ignore it. I love how fast paced the book is, however, it feels right. With a lot of fast paced books, they can feel rushed as if the author just wants to finish. This one didn't feel like that, it fit in with the story well. I love Eleanor and Park's romance, and can relate to Eleanor a fair bit (being an insecure chubby female myself).
I'm not sure how I feel about the ending of this book (it is left in a way that you, the reader, decide the ending). I like closure, and this book didn't give it to me. So I'm not sure if I like that. It was, however, a fitting end for the book. I'm just not sure if I'm happy it ended in the way it did, or extremely angry. That's why I've given this book 4/5, because I can't decide.
I'd recommend this book to people who like YA coming of age/romance books, such as The Fault in Our Stars - which is what made me read the book initially, John Greene's recommendation.
Beautiful story. Memorable. Made me laugh and cry a lot, and I'm sure it'll stay with me for a while. I'm just kind of hoping eventually, just maybe, the author will decide to follow up on the ending and let us know how Eleanor and Park are getting on.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 3, 2018
Oh my God, I loved this book so much, it took my little heart and snapped it into pieces. Eleanor is an amazing character. I felt just like her in school, the weird girl who stuck out like a sore thumb no matter how she tried to be invisible. I loved Park as well. The relationship that develops between them, starting off as barely even friendship and turning into first love is sweet, beautifully written and heart-breaking at times. I love things develop between them with Park giving her comic books to read and neither of them really speaking to each other. It’s not all sweet and mushy. Eleanor & Park takes dark tone towards the end as Eleanor discovers just why her step-father is so awful. Eleanor & Park is amazing. I cried and laughed a lot.
4.0 out of 5 starsthere are quite a few 'big' swears including 'f' and 'the bad c' words and some sensitive subjects touched on
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 9, 2017
I read this prior to giving it to my daughter (it was meant for her). There is a warning on the back about not being suitable for younger readers; there are quite a few 'big' swears including 'f' and 'the bad c' words and some sensitive subjects touched on. However, it is not gratuitous at all and whilst you wouldn't get the swear words on Hollyoaks, they have covered similar sensitive topics before the watershed. I am happy for my 12 year old to read it as she is sensible enough to talk to me about it if she has questions and having both read it we can talk about what we thought. We shed tears over different parts! I found it engaging, as an 80s child some parts were amusing to me that will go over my daughter's head. I think that the touchy subjects that have caused controversy have been raised sensitively; it's a difficult balance to write for a young adult audience and I respect what the author has achieved. I always encourage questions and discussion, I don't wrap my daughter in cotton wool, it will depend on the maturity of each young person as to whether this book is suitable for them but please don't veto it on the basis of the hype.