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Eleanor & Park

by Rainbow Rowell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,4635431,041 (4.17)354
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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» See also 354 mentions

English (532)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (536)
Showing 1-5 of 532 (next | show all)
My favorite part of this engaging novel is how the writer really takes her time on the tiny moments that add up to this relationship. It's not a "love at first sight" book, but a love through shared taste and experience book, with some of the more true details about how we really fall in love. For writers, this is a master class on pacing. Stories don't have to be all action and big emotion (I'm talking to you George RR Martin, you big lovable lug) but can be measured accretions of tiny moments. ( )
  MaximusStripus | Jul 7, 2020 |
..Yikes. ( )
  angelgay | Jul 1, 2020 |
I thought this novel was phenomenal.

This novel is told in alternating chapters by Eleanor and Park. Both of these characters are two 16 year old teenagers living in Omaha in the 1980s.

Park has an American father and Korean mother and except for those things comes from a home that could rival the Cleaver family at times. Park does his best to stay out of firing range from the cool kids on his bus. Feeling like a disappointment to his father and not very interested in girls he just likes to listen to music and read his comic books.

Eleanor comes from a broken home and is finally after a year long absence allowed to return home to live with her mother, little brothers and sister. Due to her stepfather's constant rage Eleanor tries her best to hide while at home and feels as if school is just something to get through. She sits down besides Park one day on the school bus and starts a reluctant arrangement of sitting with him everyday.

Park finds himself drawn to Eleanor and slowly they start to turn from a awkward friendship into something more.

I really don't know what else to say about this novel besides it was phenomenal. Ms. Rowell is able to write Eleanor and Park so well that they felt like living and breathing people to me. I found myself at times wincing at things that Eleanor said to Park. Or feeling Park's pangs when he finds himself doing his best to fit in and feeling shallow when he is ashamed of Eleanor. She writes them like teenagers and I know it seems silly to say but a lot of authors have a hard time writing as teenagers. Either the characters feel way too grown to me by using language that I doubt they would use or the situations would feel so fake. The story of Eleanor and Park seems timeless to me even though the plot takes place in the 1980s.

This novel brought back good memories of the first boy I ever loved. I remember the first time I held hands and was kissed by a boy (his name was Noah). It is something that stays with you. Your heart beats faster, your pulse is jumping in your throat, you feel like you are going to puke. And then it's like being warmed from the sun inside and out the first time you hold hands and kiss. Sigh. This novel brought back all of those memories for me. I even made myself slow down and just absorb the novel slowly. I didn't want it to end.

I would love to read a sequel starring these two characters since I now want to know how the story ends. Or maybe I will just imagine a happy ending for them.

I definitely recommend! ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I loved this book! Rainbow Rowell does an excellent job eliciting the feelings of young love and adolescent angst. I fell in love with Eleanor and Park and did not want the story to end. ( )
  Martha662 | Jun 27, 2020 |
I'm a tough sell when it comes to YA books. Most of them are too obvious for me to enjoy, either as dystopian hellholes or glossy music videos. But when a friend recommended "Eleanor and Park" to me, I was ready for either hellhole or music video, as long as it was a fast read for a chilly autumn evening.

What I read was a savvy paean to young love between two misfits amidst the myriad land-mines that dot adolescence. Darker issues also lurk in the background of one of our protagonists, but these are written so gracefully that they don't feel like plot devices. (Trigger warnings apply, however; this is not a Hallmark card.)

The most remarkable thing about this remarkable book is that the two protagonists are completely believable human beings that aren't forced to change what makes them unique in order to find acceptance, to find happiness.

I enjoyed every moment of reading this, not least for the nostalgic dip into my own awkward youth in the 1980s. I read it in one sitting, tearing up often and crying wholeheartedly at the ending, which leaves its characters with hope that is neither saccharine nor contrived. This was a beautiful book and I look forward to reading more of Rainbow Rowell's fiction. ( )
  cygnoir | Jun 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 532 (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 (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rowell, Rainbowprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gorovoy, AnnaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grlic, OlgaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowman, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malhotra, SunilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russell, HarrietCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simó, VictoriaTranslatorsecondary 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.
He loved how much they loved each other. It was the thing he thought about when he woke up scared in the middle of the night. Not that they loved him -- they were his parents, they had to love him. That they loved each other. They didn't have to do that.
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Average: (4.17)
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