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Review: Eleanor and Park

March 28, 2013

Eleanor and Park

After living at a friend’s house for a while, Eleanor has just come home to live with her mother, stepfather, and siblings.  Being back home is not great, especially since it means starting at a new high school.  On Eleanor’s first day no one wants to let her sit by them on the bus but the bus driver bellows at her to find a seat.  Park finally relents and shares his seat with her.  Park is on the fringes of the popular group and it’s obvious Eleanor never will be, so Park totally ignores her because he wants it to be clear that they’ll never be friends.

When Eleanor ends up being in a couple of Park’s classes, though, he discovers that she’s smart and clever and he becomes attracted to her.  Eleanor starts reading Park’s comics over his shoulder on the bus and he begins sharing comics and music and, eventually, his heart with her.

Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell, is a sweet love story that totally stole my heart.   Set in 1986, this book is quirky and warm and full of pop references.  The heart of the story is the characters, though.  I loved both Eleanor and Park and I loved that they weren’t perfect.  They both had problems and fears and they weren’t beautiful.  In fact, Eleanor was described as a “big” girl.  They were both misfits of sorts; Eleanor because of her size and her home life and Park because he is half Korean.  They’re the type of characters readers can identify with in one way or another.

I liked the storyline of the book too.  It’s fun and true to life.  I’m sure many teen readers can relate to the situations the characters find themselves in.  Park and Eleanor are both new to romance so the beginning of their relationship isn’t always smooth.   As I finished the book, my first impression was that it didn’t end the way I wanted it too.  The ending is realistic, though, and the more I think about it, the more perfect I think it is.

I think Eleanor and Park will have broad appeal.  Younger readers will relate to the characters and their lives and older readers will be reminded of intense first loves.  There is some language in the book but it generally fits the situation.

I listened to the audio version of this book.  It’s expertly narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra.  They engaged me right from the start and became Park and Eleanor in my mind.  The audio lasts approximately 9 hours.

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
36 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2013 6:36 am

    How is it that it isn’t much past 6:30 and I’ve ordered three books from the library, now I’m headed off to order my fourth. If they have this. 1986 is definitely my era (I was in college) and I love the occasional dose of sweet.

  2. March 28, 2013 6:37 am

    Not familiar with this title, but it sounds good Kathy.

  3. March 28, 2013 7:08 am

    This sounds like my kind of book! I’m so glad you posted about it, because I’ve never heard of it before. And now I’m excited to read it – thanks!

  4. March 28, 2013 7:45 am

    This will be my third book to add to the neverending wishlist this morning as well 😉 I graduated high school in 1986 so you had me at “quirky and warm and full of pop references” 🙂

  5. talesofwhimsy permalink
    March 28, 2013 8:11 am

    Sounds great. Awesome review.

  6. March 28, 2013 8:11 am

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book! I’m glad to hear that you liked it!

  7. March 28, 2013 8:35 am

    I’ve wanted to read this ever since I saw John Green rave about it!

  8. therelentlessreader permalink
    March 28, 2013 8:39 am

    I’ve been curious about this book and I’m glad you’ve reviewed it. It sounds lovely 🙂

  9. March 28, 2013 8:47 am

    This has been on my list. I hope I’d get the pop references to 86 — I might be too old. LOL

  10. March 28, 2013 8:48 am

    Thanks for your review.

  11. March 28, 2013 9:07 am

    I love this book so much! When I finished reading an e-copy of it, I just hugged my nook close to me because I wasn’t ready to let go. I hope everyone gives this one a shot!

  12. March 28, 2013 10:26 am

    I loved this one too!

  13. March 28, 2013 10:33 am

    I finished this yesterday. Adored it.

  14. March 28, 2013 10:47 am

    I haven’t heard of this one before but it sounds like a good one – especially to listen to.

  15. March 28, 2013 10:51 am

    I really want to read this one!

  16. zibilee permalink
    March 28, 2013 11:11 am

    This is one that I want to read, and I think I will be able to relate to the characters. I like that everything is not too predictable, and that the ending made you think for a little bit. I am going to see if I can get on the waiting list for this one!

  17. March 28, 2013 11:12 am

    Hmm. Interesting character names. My daughter was born in the early 90’s, and all through school she’s been the only Eleanor of her generation, and all the generations anywhere near her own.

  18. March 28, 2013 2:31 pm

    I don’t read a lot of YA but this sounds really good – and I just bought another book by the author. Since you enjoyed the audio so much I think I’ll put it on my listen to list.

  19. March 28, 2013 4:27 pm

    I recently read the author’s book Attachments, and loved it so much that I ended up wanting to read something else she had written. This one sounds like another “sleeper hit” for me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kathy.

  20. bookingmama permalink
    March 28, 2013 5:34 pm

    This sounds like a story that I’d really enjoy!

  21. Patty permalink
    March 28, 2013 5:49 pm

    It sounds lovely!

  22. March 28, 2013 5:55 pm

    Great review! I’d read this (even though my TBR pile’s insane).

  23. March 28, 2013 6:26 pm

    I read her first book (Attachments) last year and really enjoyed it. Will have to check out this one too.

  24. March 28, 2013 9:08 pm

    I am glad to know that you enjoyed this book. I just brought it home from the library today!!!!

  25. March 29, 2013 1:49 am

    That sounds so sweet – I shall have to recommend this to some friends who like YA (okay, and then maybe borrow their copy!)

  26. March 29, 2013 9:10 am

    I love the fact that it’s set in the 80s. I also like how the characters form a friendship.

  27. March 29, 2013 10:33 am

    This sounds good and after listening to an 18 hour audio, the thought that this was is 9 hours hold huge appeal to me 🙂

  28. March 29, 2013 10:43 am

    I really enjoyed Attachments so I want to read this one also, remembering first love will be sweet funny memory.

  29. March 29, 2013 11:18 am

    I’m currently reading this and enjoying it. I’m glad you did too.

  30. March 29, 2013 2:56 pm

    I looked this one up, when John Green raved about it a few weeks ago, now with your review, I think it’s definitely going on the wishlist!

  31. March 30, 2013 3:27 pm

    This sounds delightful – will have to find it.

  32. March 30, 2013 5:59 pm

    I;m picky about my YA but this one appeals to me, all ecxept for the part about the ending!

  33. April 1, 2013 8:01 pm

    This does sound sweet. I’m glad that the ending grew on you. 😉

  34. April 1, 2013 10:15 pm

    I so want to read this one. I think I just might get it on audible!!!

  35. April 2, 2013 4:11 pm

    I love quirky books that very clearly have their own personalities. This book sounds right up my alley and I will be sure to add it to my TBR list.

  36. April 7, 2013 7:14 am

    I’ve seen nothing but good regarding this book, so I’m happy to see that you liked it too.

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