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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
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Eleanor & Park (edition 2013)

by Rainbow Rowell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,3834141,121 (4.2)299
Member:dianestm
Title:Eleanor & Park
Authors:Rainbow Rowell
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:2013, Fiction, Romance

Work details

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Showing 1-5 of 407 (next | show all)
I can't remember how I initially came upon this book or why I picked it up. Sometimes I will browse the "must read" or New York Times' Best Sellers and being a YA enthusiast, I will often browse what YA novels are trending. Which is how I came across Eleanor & Park, I think. I had gotten the book originally at the library and by the time it was due, had not had a chance to actually read it so I had to return it. Afterwards, I started seeing articles about the book and how it was on people's and websites' "must-read lists" and decided to check it out from the library again with more determination to actually read the book before having to return it. However, by the time I put the book on hold for a second time at the Library, there was an incredibly long wait list so it was a while before I was able to get my hands on the book again and boy did I devour the book once I did!

I was captivated instantly and more so because I had been reading a lot of philosophical and slow-paced novels, so comparatively it was moving quickly because the content wasn't as laden with philosophical overtures. Although there are very meaty subjects, the relationship between Eleanor and Park was so lighthearted that I just revelled in the story.

Quick synopsis: We meet Eleanor and Park on a bus, a bus where there are a lot of mean kids and kids who aren't very welcoming, kids who have chosen their bus seat from the beginning of the school year and did not intend on sharing it with a big, wild hair, unfashionably, uncool new girl. But Park, realizing she was going to have to stand in the aisle if he didn't share, begrudgingly scoots over and shares his bus seat with Eleanor. He isn't happy about sharing his bus seat initially and they don't immediately strike up a friendship but like all children - you spend enough time with someone and eventually you find common ground and start to find your initial impressions of the other person are false or misguided. Park and Eleanor's friendship starts when Eleanor starts to secretly read Park's comic books on the bus and Park having noticed starts to give her his old comic books - along with some awesome mix-tapes!!! - so she can read them and this eventually evolves into a full blown friendship & more that takes them both by surprise. (Now this is a very glossed over overview of the book and I didn't even touch on the meaty topics in the book but thought I'd let you find out all about on your own.)

It's a sweet and loving tale of first love. I love it so much because it incorporates two of my favorite things, the 80's and first love! I love the evolution of their relationship (I've read some people say how they did not like it or felt that everything in the novel was too convenient, but I loved it). I love Park's Mother's back story as well and it really adds an added depth to the story. I love the music that Rainbow Rowell infused into the story making it very tangible. At times I can visualize exactly what the scenes would look like, could almost feel it come alive behind my eyes. I am so glad I picked up this book and read it because it led me to "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell and I absolutely love that book as well. This was one of those magical finds!

I have read the criticism about this book, how it contains too much sexual innuendos and home violence/abuse/abandonment, that the content is too mature for a YA/Teen/Children's novel (all those meaty subjects)but I think all the previous stated issues were handled in a very contained, non-graphic, and matured way. I think "people/our current society" are so hell-bent on coddling children today that they think shielding kids from these topics will magically make these issues disappear but what they don't realize is real life isn't all rosy and parents should have honest conversations with their children about these topics if they decide to let their children read these books. Parenting, what a concept!!! I think censoring this book and ignoring the subject matters in this novel does nothing to help children or our society when we start to hide/ignore unpleasantness. There are probably children out there who have or are going through what Eleanor did and hopefully there is a "Park" or someone in their life who can help them through their situation. My hope is that this book give children who may be in Eleanor's shoes hope that things can and will get better and that help is out there. ( )
  jthao_02 | May 18, 2017 |
Oof, my heart. ( )
  poutmouthomaha | May 18, 2017 |
Feels....

Just....Feels.

That's the only thing I can say about this book. It gave me so many different feelings that I can only sum it up with, well, FEELS...Good, Sad, Mad, Confused, May want more...FEELS! ( )
  obridget2 | May 14, 2017 |
I really wanted to like this book but I quit before I read chapter one entirely. One page used the F word 4 times, plus some racial slurs. Young adults hear enough foul language in their day to day lives; there is NO need for them to have to read it also. So disappointed in this book. I will NOT be reading any other books by this author. ( )
  travelgal | May 11, 2017 |
Eleanor and Park do not run around the same circles until they met unexpectedly on their school bus. Park shared his interests in music and comics with Eleanor; they became friends. Eventually, they fall for each other.

I was someone like Eleanor--fat girl, bushy hair, getting bullied, hates PE, and a loner-- still does, maybe but I never got Park. Meh. The story's too good to be true so it hurts lol. What I really mean to say is that it's cute that they complement each other. The teenage story is so cheesy and I like cheese. The plot may be cliché, but Rowell is good in making butterflies to flutter in stomach. ( )
  phoibee | Apr 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 407 (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 (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rainbow Rowellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gorovoy, AnnaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grlic, OlgaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowman, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malhotra, SunilNarratorsecondary 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.
Quotations
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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"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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