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Eleanor & Park Hardcover – Feb 26 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Feb. 26 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250012570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250064875
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy, and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution maintains the novel's delicate balance of light and dark.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship Eleanor and Park develop is urgent and breathtaking and, of course, heartbreaking, too.” ―Booklist (starred review)

“An honest, heart-wrenching portrayal of imperfect but unforgettable love.” ―The Horn Book (winner of The Horn Book Award for fiction)

Eleanor & Park is a breathless, achingly good read about love and outsiders.” ―Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door

“Sweet, gritty, and affecting . . . Rainbow Rowell has written an unforgettable story about two misfits in love. This debut will find its way into your heart and stay there.” ―Courtney Summers, author of This Is Not a Test and Cracked Up to Be

“In her rare and surprising exploration of young misfit love, Rowell shows us the beauty in the broken.” ―Stewart Lewis, author of You Have Seven Messages

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

“Rowell's writing swings from profane to profound, but it's always real and always raw.” ―Petra Mayer for NPR Books

About the Author

RAINBOW ROWELL lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and two sons. She's also the author of Landline, Fangirl and Attachments.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Lorna Webster TOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 21 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did enjoy this book, but I was a bit surprised by how young the characters were. I'd only every read one quote from it and I spoiled myself as little as possible before buying, but I think the risk paid off. One of the things that makes the book feel so real, other than the wonderful handling of Eleanor's awful situation, is the fact that the characters are fully realized, instead of feeling hollow. Their flaws make them believable. I also loved the surprise setting of the 90's, my favourite era.
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Format: Hardcover
As usual I received this book from GoodReads as part of a giveaway. Also as usual, despite the very kind and generous consideration of getting a free book, I give my candid opinions below.

The year is 1986. Eleanor, a teenager abused by her stepfather and neglected by her desperate mother, meets Park, a nice, normal boy of the grunge set. The rest is left as an exercise to our potential reader.

Qualitatively speaking, I found Rowell's rendering of this all-too-common situation uncommonly realistic. Having myself been a boy immersed in new love many ages ago, her descriptions of the all-encompassing palpitations of youthful amour rang with truth. Her style is easy to assimilate and makes for a quick and leisurely read. She also renders her chosen setting, 1986 Omaha, with skill and accuracy.

I will say that as a 'young adult' novel, which I believe this to be designated by the publisher, it comes off a bit strong. There is little content of a directly sexual nature but the profusion of four letter words is bothersome. I suppose it depends on what your definition of 'young adult' is but I'd feel a bit wrong handing this to my daughters until they are late in their teens.

In summary, Rowell does a great job of capturing that spark of youthful love that we all hopefully find at some point in our lives. Her characters are well rendered and one could easily believe she knew these people in real life (as I suspect she did). It captures well the fleeting and potent emotions of youthful love.
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Format: Hardcover
August 1986: Eleanor is starting school at a new one and has to go there by bus. Only problem: it is really hard to be the new kid and try to find a place to sit in a bus full of judgemental people. Every time she tries to sit somewhere, the kid already on the banch keeps her to do so until, Park, who is getting tired of this, reluctantly lets her sit with him. There start the slow process of their friendship and eventually their love story.

I absolutely love this story! It is cute, funny, and sad, and I couldn’t put it down. I think I only read it in two or three days… It is my second Rainbow Rowell’s book after Fangirl and it certainly did not disappoint. Her writing is simply beautiful and I found it more poetic in this one then in Fangirl.

I really love Eleanor and Park together and how their relationship develops in the bus ride to school. They are going through a lot of difficult things together, but they are still so cute and funny at the same time.

The only thing that annoys me about this book is that there is a lot of swearing. But I know it is because of the context and the setting of the story, so it is understandable and it is correct to have it there. It is just that my eyes sometimes did not like it. I’m the kind of girl that has all those weird expressions to say instead of swearing…

In conclusion, I recommend this book to everyone because it is simply amazing! But beware: this book will break your heart.
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Format: Hardcover
My Review: Every so often I enjoy picking up a teen read so when I heard glowing reviews of Eleanor and Park (even from a library co-worker) I was thinking that I was going to get something along the lines of "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green (ie. a touching teen read that requires you to keep Kleenex at the ready).

While this book does focus on first romance it didn't have the emotion I expected nor did I have the connection to the characters that I was hoping to have. The book follows the day-to-day lives of Eleanor and Park and it pieces together their little moments together as their relationship blossoms. But I needed a bit more than sharing cassette tapes and rides on the bus to get invested in their lives and I needed the evolution of their relationship to be believable. And it just wasn't. Their relationship went from him swearing at her on the bus to them suddenly sharing music and holding hands. This quickly morphed into them hating being apart on weekends and feeling like they can't breathe when they're apart. I prefer to see their relationship evolve and these were just too many leaps to be believable.

I also had a hard time picturing these two together. Park is a nice guy and I liked being able to see his family life but I can't see what Eleanor brings to the table in their relationship other than a negative attitude. I get that she has a lot of reasons to be negative but even if the author had given me one little glimmer of what Park saw in Eleanor I think it would have helped me better understand their attraction.

The pace was rather slow and meandering throughout the book as it focuses on the small moments Eleanor and Park share.
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