Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Rainbow Rowell, Designed by Debbie Powell

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Product description

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried. Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by. Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true - an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.

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Author information

Rainbow Rowell is a newspaper columnist in Omaha, Nebraska, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Find out more at www.rainbowrowell.com

Customer reviews

By Christopher Moore 26 Jul 2014 2

Plot:

The plot has the makings of a John Green hit. I wondered for a moment if it could be the next The Fault in Our Stars; a story dealing with real issues in a non-paranormal world. So, does it hold a light to John Green? No. The story has the potential to really push the domestic abuse to the limit but I kind of feel like Rowell just glosses over it. Itâ??s always hovering in the background but itâ??s never tackled head-on. The love story motif isnâ??t enough to carry the plot. Eleanorâ??s and Parkâ??s initial meeting is sweet but there needs to be another element or the domestic abuse needs to be dealt with because the plot is flat. I was satisfied with the ending but I felt like Rowell could have worked harder in the beginning and middle parts to make me empathise with her characters.

8/20

Narration:

The narration is third-person but focuses in on Eleanor and Park. Itâ??s extremely clinical to the point where I donâ??t warm to either character. Each voice should be distinctive but instead, thereâ??s nothing to distinguish them. They read the exact same. For dual voices to work, both characters need to have different lexicons, different ways of seeing things and different thought processes. I donâ??t get that here and a lot of the time, Rowell uses words that undercut the language associated with each character. A perfect example is when Eleanor canâ??t help but look at Park with â??gooey eyesâ??.

6/20

Character:

The characters are as flat as my Mamâ??s (for Americans = Momâ??s and for Brits = Mumâ??s) pancakes. Mr. Stessman is an inconsistent character. Parkâ??s Mom comes off a bit stereotypical and one-dimensional at times. I like Eleanor. Sheâ??s the only character where I feel like the reader might almost connect to.

7/20

Quality of Writing:

While I think the writing quality is average, there are some things I like such as the comic book back-drop and references (Mr. Fantasic/The Invisible Woman/The Hulk) throughout the story. It reinforces and reminds you of their common interest and always draws it back to how they started out. Having said that, thereâ??s nothing spectacular about the writing. Rowell has a tendency to tell us everything. The control of information needs to be more gradual as the reader wonâ??t read on if they feel like they know everything about the book in the first few chapters.

10/20

Setting:

Thereâ??s enough detail for me to get a picture of where I am but it lacks that personal touch that the author usually bring to the world they create.

8/10

Comparative Literature:

Iâ??ve read some pretty great love stories â?? both paranormal and non-paranormal. Eleanor and Park ranks at the lower end of the scale. It contributes nothing new to the genre and to love stories in YA. John Green in The Fault in Our Stars shows us a terminally ill girl and how everyone can love and be loved. Will Grayson, Will Grayson shows us two very different Willâ??s and everything thereafter is somewhat serendipitous. Eleanor and Park, on the other hand, left me with a sense of triumph when I turned the last page because I wanted to give up at pretty much the end of each chapter.

3/10

Overall Score:

42/100


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By Saraa 26 Jul 2014 5

I bought this book not knowing if it was going to be all that, but then I started to read it.
I loved it. It's so good to have a character in the book that's not seen as 'skinny' or 'perfect'. Instead that characters in this book have flaws and insecurities and that's what makes it such an amazing book.
it's definitely a new favourite book of mine.

By Julie Rimpula 28 Jun 2014 5

Cute and light and romantic. Beautiful and bittersweet and heart-wrenching. Eleanor & Park is one of the best contemporaries I've read. Ever.

I love that the characters are so unique, but in some ways so alike. They're both awkward and smart and funny. I've never encountered such characters like Eleanor and Park before. Eleanor reminds me of Stargirl (in terms of weirdness), only ten times better because she's fat and a red-head. (I dig red-heads.) And she's a strong heroine. Her home life is chaotic, she's being bullied; heck, she doesn't even own a toothbrush. But she takes it all in stride. She may be ashamed of it all but she held on for as long as she could. Park, on the other hand, is this cute, quiet, half-Korean boy who reads comic books and gives bus seats to weird new girls. He's so sweet and it really amazes me that he's totally in love with Eleanor. And boy, does he make me swoon. *Insert heart-shaped eyes and wistful sigh here*

Eleanor & Park seems like a light read but the story actually sneaks up on you and pokes at your heart. Rainbow Rowell did a great job in balancing the light and romantic with the serious and heavy parts of the book. The lines are very good, too. They are funny and witty, but there are poignant and gut-wrenching ones, too. I don't know what to think of the ending, though. It's like Stargirl all over again. I only wish there's a sequel because I can't get enough of Eleanor and Park. (Especially Park.)

This book is brilliant. A new favorite. Read it. NOW.

By Kate @ Fictional Thoughts 13 Feb 2013 4

Park instantly thinks of Eleanor as odd. Eleanor considers Park to be rude. And yet somehow over the course they go from being uncomfortable strangers sharing a seat on the school bus to being the centre of the other's universe.

For me, books set in the not-so-distant past are often hit or miss. Eleanor and Park is a hit. Rainbow Rowell has a way of mentioning past events, pop-culture references and the way life was in the eighties that instantly felt authentic. Park with his comic books and cassette playing walkman is a kid who doesn't fit in because he's half-Korean but no one can touch because he's schooled in martial arts. With her eccentric outfits and crazy hair, Eleanor is misunderstood.

This book deals with some tough issues - Eleanor's home life is troubled - and I liked how Rainbow dealt with those. I loved the contrast between Eleanor and Park in nearly every aspect of their lives. The progression of their relationship was beautiful and different. It's a gradual progression where I felt like both parties were perfect for the other. The supporting characters are strong but didn't leave a lasting impact however they did a good job of carrying the plot along.

I think that Eleanor and Park will appeal to fans of quirky romances with tough issues. The setting adds to the plot and the music references just add to the enjoyment of the book.

Review quote

Reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love, but what it's like to be young and in love with a book -- John Green, author of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship Eleanor and Park develop is urgent and breathtaking and, of course, heartbreaking, too BOOKLIST starred review Reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love, but what it's like to be young and in love with a book John Green, author of The Fault in our Stars A breathless, achingly good read about love and outsiders Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss Eleanor and Park is completely beautiful. Set in 1986 and full of retro pop culture references, it's a book I want to share with everyone... I don't think a single person could read this book and not have their heart melted. ONCE UPON A BOOKCASE Deliriously beautiful ... My only problem with this book was that I finished it. And I knew I wanted to keep it in my life, always Jenny Bird for Forever Young Adult This sexy, smart, tender romance thrums with punk rock and true love Gayle Forman, bestselling author of If I Stay Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution - imperfect but believable - maintains the novel's delicate balance of light and dark Publishers Weekly, starred review The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship Eleanor and Park develop is urgent and breathtaking and, of course, heartbreaking, too Booklist, starred review Good luck putting down Eleanor & Park ... You'll melt at all the tiny moments that add up to a killer romance Seventeen Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike Kirkus, starred review An honest, heart-wrenching portrayal of imperfect but unforgettable love The Horn Book, starred review a perfect book and I recommend it to everyone over the age of thirteen. I don't believe I have conveyed even a fraction of how utterly fantastic it was and all I can do is prompt you to grab a copy and brace yourself GUARDIAN ONLINE