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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
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Eleanor & Park (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Rainbow Rowell

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1,460None5,107 (4.26)118
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

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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (2012)

1980s (39) 2013 (62) 2014 (14) abuse (72) audiobook (11) bullying (56) coming of age (23) contemporary (19) ebook (24) family (21) fiction (122) first love (29) friendship (16) high school (55) Kindle (17) love (40) misfits (20) music (20) Nebraska (24) Omaha (20) read (16) read in 2013 (40) realistic fiction (23) relationships (25) romance (126) teen (39) to-read (125) YA (119) young adult (139) young adult fiction (22)

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Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
Set in 1986, this chronicles the romance of two 16-year-old misfits, overweight Eleanor and half-Korean Park. What started out as a friendship on the school bus grows stronger despite turmoil with Eleanor's stepfather and Eleanor being bullied during gym class. Well-written story that is quirky and irresistible and well-deserving of the 2014 Printz honor book. Also learned this will be made into a movie soon. ( )
  WickedWoWestwood | Apr 13, 2014 |
Great ( )
  amazzuca26 | Apr 13, 2014 |
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I like books about people that are obviously more screwed up than I am. As it turns out, this blanket statement isn’t always true. I will also freely admit, right here and now, that I do not understand the fixation on the whole high school sweetheart love story.

First off, the conversation that’s in the overview doesn’t even happen in the book (had to get that out of my system, it was driving me nuts). I read Eleanor & Park based on recommendations from a few different people, mainly touting the author (Rainbow Rowell). I was kind of worried I wouldn’t like it because it states that it takes place in 1986. I really didn’t notice that throughout, other than the band and song references (new then, oldies now).

The writing was quite good. I really don’t have any complaints about grammar or style. I actually liked the author’s writing style. I really loved how she switched back and forth between Eleanor and Park’s point of view. It made the story a little more intriguing to see their relationship from each person’s eyes.

I did not like the subject matter. The entire time I was thinking how much Eleanor’s life sucked. Then the author added a component that wasn’t exactly out of left field, but that I would deem creepy (not going to spoil it for you). It really came down to the fact that I can sympathize with situations like this, but I can’t empathize so I don’t truly understand them.

There was something that really irked me at the very end of Eleanor & Park and I just can’t seem to let it go. “It wasn’t a letter. It was a postcard. Park flipped it over. Written in Eleanor’s scratchy scrawl were three words.” That’s how it freaking ended. What were the three words?! I may be the only one bothered by this, but it has been bothering me way more than it should.

I actually read a few reviews before reading Eleanor & Park. There’s one that sticks out in my mind. A woman said that Rowell really captured the experience of love while you’re in high school. The intensity of it all. I half agree. She captured a lot of what’s true. How urgent and intense every crush or relationship feels. However, there were a lot of parts that were just really weird. Eleanor mentions more than once how she wants to bite Park’s face off. She also notes on a cold morning that she can see his breath and just wants to breathe him in. I don’t remember ever thinking or feeling these things in high school. In fact I thought those descriptions were slightly alarming and that first one was bordering on cannibalistic.

In the end, I just didn’t like Eleanor & Park. It was not my cup of tea. Therefore, I would not recommend it.

For more reviews, check out reviewsinapinch.wordpress.com today! ( )
  ReviewsInAPinch | Apr 12, 2014 |
Rowell is THE YA author to watch. I loved her book Fangirl, and she proves herself again with this book. Really, it made me uncomfortable at times because I related so strongly to Eleanor since we were both overweight and bullied in high school, but I love that Rowell made Eleanor a beautiful and strong heroine because of that. Not in spite of it. Because of it--there's no mention of diet or exercise or any attempts for her to change herself in that way. Park is slight, somewhat effeminate and trying to understand that aspect of himself, so there's a lot for boys to see through his point of view as well.

It's a romance, but there's a lot of darkness here, too. Eleanor is really going through hell in her home life. I foresaw the big revelation at the end, but that didn't really take away the tension because I had no idea how Eleanor and Park would take it. That was the surprise. As with Fangirl, Rowell creates an ending that lets the reader know these are very much lives in progress. It's just part of the masterful realism of the story. ( )
  ladycato | Apr 11, 2014 |
This is the best book I read for this time period. Months later, and I'm still thinking about it, wanting to revisit it. Just like "Looking for Alaska". In fact, I heard about the book from John Green, who does a much better job of reviewing it than me.

It's a YA romance about two teens in 1986. Park is half-Korean, but well-off. Eleanor comes straight out of Scalzi's "Being Poor". The novel slowly, methodically treads the course of their relationship. From the first idle glances, to words exchanged, in and out of misunderstandings, parental involvement, and their own sense of self-worth. These are two one-winged angels that need to hold onto each other in order to fly.

It's a love story that's not ridiculous Harlequin bodice-ripping or teen Dawson's Creek drama. It perfectly illustrates the emotions, the awkwardness, the time when holding hands was enough. I don't know how Rowell was somehow able to write such small things with such intensity -- the first phone call, the little gifts and mix-tapes, waiting for no parents in the house, the first make-out session. I feel like an old man, looking at photographs. And each picture brings me to that reality. Just for a moment, I'm back there. ( )
  theWallflower | Apr 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (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)
 
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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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