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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
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Eleanor & Park (2012)

by Rainbow Rowell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
I don't even know how to begin to describe this wonderful book. I picked it up this morning, intending to just read for a half hour or so and I finished the entire thing, cover to cover in about 3 hours, unable to put it down. Eleanor's character makes you ache for her and just want to wrap her up and hold her close. Park is this unexpected knight in shining armor with his own hidden trials. They are perfectly imperfect, especially for each other and all I can say is that I so want more. The writing is gorgeously done, spanning both light and dark topics with grace. Rainbow Rowell has done it again and has continued to reclaim her spot on my favorite authors list. ( )
  CSTaylor24 | Jul 27, 2014 |
First love.

I read this right after Fault in Our Stars. Unlike Fault in Our Stars, I was not reading it because my students were. My librarian asked me to read it. It wasn't even bar-coded yet.

When I say right after, I mean, right after. The very next day.Unlike Fault in Our Stars, I did not pick it up until the end of the day. I did not want to read during silent reading today.

But like Fault in Our Stars, I read it in one sitting.

I loved this book. Park and Eleanor feel like real people and they have real problems. In so many ways, they are like the students I work with. And in so many ways, like what I remember high school being like. And that first high school romance.

Again, I cried. I cried because I recognized moments in my own life. I cried for the characters and with the characters.

After this, I went back to my librarian and said, "No more sad books. I just can't do it." We laughed, but I definitely took a break for a little while from reading sad books.

This book is all about the feels.
http://reactiongifs.com/?p=17813 ( )
  tiomela | Jul 25, 2014 |
I have conflicting feelings about Eleanor & Park. I know that various aspects of it really troubled some people, from the treatment of the characters of colour to the way it deals with Eleanor's fraught home life. I don't know enough about American culture and history to really comment on that, other than acknowledging that some people find it problematic, e.g. in the exoticisation of Park's looks and the stereotyping with his mother. I think everything Rowell does here is an honest attempt, though; I think there's a conscious effort to bring in more diverse characters, it's just that it brings in a lot of new problems with it.

Still, despite that, I actually really liked the book. I tend to enjoy Rainbow Rowell's style anyway, and in this book I enjoyed the way she portrayed a teenage relationship. It's dramatic life and death stuff, and while I don't think I ever behaved that way, people I know did. Just discovering hormones and making a big mess of themselves over it and each other. It's complicated in this case by Eleanor's relationship with her step-dad, and Park's discomfort about whether he's the kind of son his father would want. I think parental situations had a fair amount to do with the rather desperate coupling up I saw sometimes: if you've got someone to think about while whatever's going on at home kicks off, then it's a bit more bearable. Or you're less alone. Etc.

I think someone else said that to write for teenagers, you have to remember what it's like to be a teenager, and I think Rainbow Rowell evokes that pretty well here.

When it comes to dealing with the difficult themes around Eleanor's family, again, I think it's an honest attempt. She evokes the feeling of threat well when she's in Eleanor's POV; it comes through a lot less when she's writing from Park's point of view, though. In a way, that's realistic: we never know exactly what's going on behind someone else's eyes. But in this case... Park was so shocked when Eleanor spilled everything, and I'm just thinking, hey, there were plenty of warning signs, in neon.

All in all, though, I found Eleanor & Park a really easy read, and I liked Rainbow Rowell's attitude to it that she mentioned at the signing I went to -- she couldn't write some happy ever after for Eleanor and Park, because they're still kids. It's not the end of their story, it's the beginning. I really like that she didn't go for the easy end where everything's alright: she gave us hope, sure, but no more than that. ( )
  shanaqui | Jul 22, 2014 |
As this book had chapters alternating between the two main characters, the audiobook was read alternating between a male and female narrator. Eleanor is the oldest of five kids, all redheads, living with their mother and abusive stepfather. Violent arguments have made all of the kids nervous and shy. Park has a Korean mother, American father, and is the only Asian student in his school. The two of them were thrust together as a result of school bus politics. Freshmen sit up front and the cool kids lay claim to the rear of the bus. When Eleanor first climbs on the bus she shyly sits next to Park and this is her seat for the rest of the year. For days they did not speak to each other but slowly, gently, a relationship grew.

The narrations were also slow and gentle, perhaps a little too slow and gentle. Until the action picked up towards the end of the book, the readers kept their voices soft and depressed-sounding. I can't say I liked how the male narrator made Eleanor sound in his chapters.

The relationship between these two teens was touching, and gave them both a whole new outlook on life. This book is a great read for teens. ( )
  mamzel | Jul 22, 2014 |
Loved this book!! I loved the story of Eleanor and Park!! There love is not without its complications and is not perfect... it is unforgettable thought. It brought back so many memories of my high school years. I did not want it to end!! ( )
  TeaGirl43 | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
I have never seen anything quite like “Eleanor & Park.” Rainbow Rowell’s first novel for young adults is a beautiful, haunting love story — but I have seen those. It’s set in 1986, and God knows I’ve seen that. There’s bullying, sibling rivalry, salvation through music and comics, a monstrous stepparent — and I know, we’ve seen all this stuff. But you’ve never seen “Eleanor & Park.” Its observational precision and richness make for very special reading.
added by melmore | editNew York Times, John Green (Mar 8, 2013)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rainbow Rowellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gorovoy, AnnaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grlic, OlgaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russell, HarrietCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Forest, Jade, Haven, and Jerry - and everyone else in the back of the truck
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He'd stopped trying to bring her back.
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"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"--

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