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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park (edition 2013)

by Rainbow Rowell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9663901,291 (4.2)283
Title:Eleanor & Park
Authors:Rainbow Rowell
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2013, Fiction, Romance

Work details

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

  1. 00
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these emotionally intense realistic fiction novels are set in the recent past, and feature misfit protagonists working through the agonies and ecstasies of first love, friendship, and surviving high school.
  2. 00
    I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan (bluenotebookonline)

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Showing 1-5 of 386 (next | show all)
This is probably more like 2 and a half stars. I feel a little cheated, I was expecting more from this and I just didn't get it. Eleanor is the new girl who doesn't have the greatest home life and is picked on when she starts school. Then she meets Park and they fall in love. Their relationship was cute and all but I felt no connection to the characters. I kept waiting for something to "happen" and I hated the ending! ( )
  Tabatha014 | Oct 5, 2016 |
Simple but beautiful. Eleanor and Park tell their alternating stories, sometimes only a sentence each, sometimes paragraphs, sometimes pages, but always interesting, empathetic and entertaining. ( )
  devilish2 | Sep 29, 2016 |
I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Eleanor and Park. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it because I thought it was going to turn out to be overrated. It definitely lived up to the hype, which rarely happens.

I was attracted to this novel for several reasons. One, the blurb sounded intriguing. Two, Rainbow Rowell is one of those authors who has multiple novels on the New York Times Bestseller list, simultaneously. Whenever that happens, I need to know why readers love the novels (and the author) so much. Three, there are over 300,000 reviews and the overall rating is still over four stars. If you can impress that many people, the book is worth reading.

It’s easy to see why Rainbow Rowell is so popular. I wasn’t scratching my head at the end wondering about her appeal, because it was obvious. She knows how to tell a story at the perfect pace and how to get you to fall in love with the characters. Her writing maintained my interest throughout the entire novel.

There are less than twenty characters if you include all of the small roles like the gym teacher and the guidance counselor. Eleanor and Park are sixteen year old high school students in Des Moines, Iowa. Eleanor’s parents are divorced. Eleanor’s mother is remarried and her father is engaged. Eleanor lives with her mother, four siblings and her stepfather. Her home life is horrible and school isn’t much better. Her stepfather is an abusive alcoholic, her mother is afraid of her stepfather and Eleanor is bullied at school. Eleanor can never get a break in life unless she hides in her room and even then it isn’t always a safe haven. Park, however, is her savior.

The story takes place during a time when cassette tapes were popular and when kids made their own music mix on them. If you don’t know what a cassette tape is, then I wish I was your age.

The novel is written in third person and the POV alternates between Eleanor and Park. The writing style is very accessible and the change in POV doesn’t hurt the story any. It’s necessary for the storyline.

This is character-driven, which I absolutely love. When I fall in love with the characters, like I did Eleanor and Park, I’ll follow them anywhere and it almost doesn’t matter what happens them.

This story has a lot of realism to make it relatable to a diverse group of readers. It deals with serious issues like dysfunctional families, abuse, bullying and alcoholism. Bullying is a sensitive subject for a lot of people and I’m no exception. I don’t want to go off on a tangent, but I will say this. It’s incredibly difficult to stand up to an abuser. It takes both an aggressor and a victim for bullying to take place; therefore, both parties need to be held accountable. Our society and culture allow bullying to exist, so we are all to blame. We can point fingers all day long and it won’t solve the problem. It’s not one person’s problem; it’s our problem.

I felt so sorry for Eleanor, especially in the gym locker room scene, although that scene is a little trite in fiction that addresses bullying.

I felt authentic empathy for the characters and wanted the best for them, especially for Eleanor and Park (obviously.) I wanted to rescue Eleanor from her crappy home life and from that jackass stepfather of hers. I wanted to give Park a medal or something just for being awesome and going out of his way for Eleanor. I wish Eleanor’s mother would have left that loser husband of hers. All she had to do was pack up and leave while he was getting drunk at the bar, which was daily. She could have snuck out without any confrontation.

Great ending, but I wanted the story to continue. I was still thinking about it days after I finished reading it.

Eleanor and Park made me a new Rainbow Rowell fan and I can’t wait to read another one of her novels. I hope they’re as great as this one. I highly recommend this novel to YA fans and anyone who enjoys reading a book about realistic teenage issues.
( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Another great book. I loved it. Be warned that there are a lot of cuss words but when taken as a whole to the story and what it is trying to convey it seems almost appropriate - if a bit over done. A side from the bad language, the story of first love is beautiful and the harsh realities of troubled families hits hard when you realize what hardships Eleanor has had to face and is still facing. My only major complaint is about the ending. I wish that the story would have tied up a bit more positively and solidly. I wanted to see true love play out and last a life time. I have several friends whom all married their high school sweethearts and they are all still married 25 years later with beautiful families and many joyous moments. I wanted to glimpse into Eleanor's and Park's future - to see how their story played out because I was cheering for them and hoping that they would last forever. Their romance hit me square in the gut, I laughed and cried with them every step of the way. In my imagination, they grow up and get married and have lots of beautiful babies and a happy life together.... Happy reading, this one is a must. ( )
  Bubamdk | Sep 9, 2016 |
RGG: The perfect adolescent love story. Yes, it's set in the 1980's, but the time period is more of a mood piece. So perfect that it's not a story any more, but reality. Reading Interest: 14-YA.
  rgruberexcel | Sep 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 386 (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.
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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