I'm struggling how to write this review. Highly recommended by Joe and Mark, I trust their judgment and felt drawn to read this story. Like others stellar young adult books I've recently read, this one was also chosen as a possible Newbery award recipient. It's a shame that Rainbow Rowell did not receive the well deserved accolades. My thoughts regarding this incredibly talented author -- usually the first book written is somewhat autobiographical. Because Eleanor & Park deals with some very sad, heart breaking situations, and the depth of which these poignant things are written, leads me to believe she may have experienced very hard knocks in her life. If so, all the more reason, I am in awe of this strong woman! The book is exquisitely written from the perspective of Eleanor and that of Park. Two star crossed misfit 16 year olds who, like many teenagers, struggle to find their niche. Eleanor, the stronger of the two is very clear in her perceptions of others. She knows her mother placed her and her siblings in a dangerous situation, poverty filled, abusive, and one slippery step away from sexual abuse by her near do well drunken step father. Park and Eleanor meet on the school bus. His initial opinion is one of distaste for the heavy set, bright red--haired girl who wears mismatched unfeminine clothing. Reluctantly he allows her to sit next to him, which then sets in motion a path toward acceptance, love and trust. While Park's father struggles to understand him, there is love and security for Park. While initially non accepting of Eleanor, his mother shines through. All the characters are well developed. This is a difficult book to read, and yet, somehow the author does not leave the reader in angst. As I rooted for Eleanor to find a safe place to land, I could not in any way feel sympathy for her mother who chose her alcoholic mate over the welfare of her children. Highly recommended. Five Stars.
About This Item
#1 New York Times Best Seller!Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book.-John Green, The New York Times Book Review Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I'm not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we're 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I'm not kidding, he says.
You should be. 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. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under. A New York Times Best Seller!
A 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book for Excellence in Young Adult Literature
Eleanor & Park is the winner of the 2013 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Fiction Book.
A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013 • Author: Rainbow Rowell • ISBN:9781250012579 • Format:Hardcover • Publication Date:2013-02-26
13 - 18 Years
IRA Children's Book Awards. Young Adult
St. Martin's Publishing Group
|Number of Pages|
Eleanor & Park
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
8.45 x 5.89 x 1.09 Inches
Customer reviews & ratings
Im struggling how to ...
Best book of 2013; and...
Best book of 2013; and might even usurp "Looking for Alaska" or "The Fault in Our Stars" for my favorite realistic romance! I love it even more because while it is solidly set in the 1980's, it isn't overwhelming. If you are a huge alt rock fan, this book is for you; I loved when Park talked about mixed tapes and The Cure, and about fell out of my chair when Rainbow described his Black Flag and U2 tees! A tender coming of age that is beyond realistic, authentic, and pure.
Rainbow Rowell tells t...
Rainbow Rowell tells the story of two unique teenagers who unexpectedly fall in love. While the tale sounds cliché, Rowell reminds the readers what it feels like to be a teenager, which makes the novel something any teenager can relate to. Told through the perspectives of both Park and Eleanor, we learn about two teenagers who come from very different backgrounds, but bond over a love of music and comics in an accidental yet special relationship. The character development is superbly attained through the switching points of view, creating a very unique writing style. In addition to the beautiful way the story is told, Rowell gives the reader a very realistic narrative, putting the reader right in the shoes of the characters. The story seems slow-paced, as if you are experiencing the action in real time, but before you know it you have flown through the book. In the way that readers emotionally invested themselves in Edward & Bella (Twilight) and Augustus & Hazel (The Fault in Our Stars), you will find yourself laughing and crying with, and ultimately loving with, Eleanor & Park. The book is great for high school readers, both high and low. The story is a very easy but captivating read. Rowell's use of setting and character development as well as point of view make the novel a superb choice for the classroom and a must have for every high school library.
Eleanor and Park is ...
"Eleanor and Park" is a heartbreaking and sweet novel about a misfit girl from a dysfunctional family and her budding relationship with a Korean boy who befriends her on the bus during the 1980's. Eleanor had recently returned to live with her mother, young siblings and her mom's abusive drunk boyfriend. On the first day at her new school, she was forced to sit by Park on the school bus, as there were no empty seats and nobody wanted to sit with her. Park thought Eleanor was wierd and, like everyone else, didn't want to have anything to do with her at first. However, as they continued to share a bus seat, then comics, then recorded music on cassette tapes, their friendship grew. Bullied at school and at home, Eleanor struggled to fit in anywhere. Spending time with Park was the only positive thing in her life. As Park's family began to know her and care for her too, Eleanor starts to see that she is missing more than she knew and deserves more than she has had. Although the author forshadowed the sad ending on the first page, I still hoped it would turn out differently. As with "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green, this teen novel of new love and hope doesn't end the way you want it to but you are still glad you read it because the journey is so worthwhile.
Eleanor & Park by Rain...
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is a beautifully told story of 16 year old high school outsiders in the '80s who fall in love while riding the school bus. This young adult novel features very strong but realistic language, and cringe-worthy behavior by bullying high schoolers and a monstrous stepparent. Park is the short, half-Korean son of a war vet and his Korean wife. They are the best-depicted parents I've come across in a YA novel: affectionate, in love, imperfect, trying to do the right thing. Eleanor is a big-boned, red-haired girl who others call Big Red and who compares herself to a bar maid. Her family, relocated in a small house after her mother re-marries, is cripplingly poor. She shares her room with several siblings, and tries to make herself invisible at home to evade the wrath of her alcoholic step-dad. She's intelligent but put-upon at school, in part because she dresses so oddly. Park is accepted, but barely, and lives in his own world of comics and 80s music. After a shaky start on the bus, Eleanor begins to read Park's comics over his shoulder, and he's smitten. Soon they're sharing music as well. She corrects him when he tells her she looks "nice". "Eleanor was right: She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something. . . . Eleanor made him feel like something was happening, even when they were just sitting on the couch." As they start to get to know each other, they're honest and funny, e.g., after he gives her the Watchmen graphic novel and she finds parts boring, he says, "I'm beginning to think you shouldn't have started reading comics with a book that completely deconstructs the last fifty years of the genre." She responds, "All I'm hearing is blah, blah, blah, genre." Nonetheless, reluctantly, she's just as smitten as he is. "When she saw Park standing at the bus stop on Monday morning, she started giggling. Seriously, giggling like a cartoon character . . . when their cheeks get all red and little hearts start popping out of their ears . . . it was ridiculous." They love to touch each other, and there are beautiful passages about simple hand-holding and face-caressing, along with more extensive canoodling. Park's mother is resistant to Eleanor at first because of her odd ways and shaky family, but both she and her husband start realizing what Park loves about Eleanor and what a difficult situation she is overcoming. The cards seem everywhere stacked against their romance, and one final, horrifying family revelation may doom it, despite their best intentions. You'll likely find yourself re-visiting your own days of young love. I can see why this one has gotten so many raves. It's a standout and the best of the past year for me.
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