Eleanor & Park

Rainbow Rowell

Book - 2013

"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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Subjects
Genres
Romance fiction
Published
New York : St. Martin's Griffin 2013.
Edition
First Edition
Language
English
Physical Description
328 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781250012579
1250012570
Main Author
Rainbow Rowell (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Right from the start of this tender debut, readers can almost hear the clock winding down on Eleanor and Park. After a less than auspicious start, the pair quietly builds a relationship while riding the bus to school every day, wordlessly sharing comics and eventually music on the commute. Their worlds couldn't be more different. Park's family is idyllic: his Vietnam vet father and Korean immigrant mother are genuinely loving. Meanwhile, Eleanor and her younger siblings live in poverty under the constant threat of Richie, their abusive and controlling stepfather, while their mother inexplicably caters to his whims. The couple's personal battles are also dark mirror images. Park struggles with the realities of falling for the school outcast; in one of the more subtle explorations of race and the other in recent YA fiction, he clashes with his father over the definition of manhood. Eleanor's fight is much more external, learning to trust her feelings about Park and navigating the sexual threat in Richie's watchful gaze. In rapidly alternating narrative voices, Eleanor and Park try to express their all-consuming love. You make me feel like a cannibal, Eleanor says. The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship they develop is urgent, moving, and, of course, heartbreaking, too. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Half-Korean sophomore Park Sheridan is getting through high school by lying low, listening to the Smiths (it's 1986), reading Alan Moore's Watchmen comics, never raising his hand in class, and avoiding the kids he grew up with. Then new girl Eleanor gets on the bus. Tall, with bright red hair and a dress code all her own, she's an instant target. Too nice not to let her sit next to him, Park is alternately resentful and guilty for not being kinder to her. When he realizes she's reading his comics over his shoulder, a silent friendship is born. And slowly, tantalizingly, something more. Adult author Rowell (Attachments), making her YA debut, has a gift for showing what Eleanor and Park, who tell the story in alternating segments, like and admire about each other. Their love is believable and thrilling, but it isn't simple: Eleanor's family is broke, and her stepfather abuses her mother. When the situation turns dangerous, Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution—imperfect but believable—maintains the novel's delicate balance of light and dark. Ages 13–up. Agent: Christopher Schelling, Selectric Artists. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—In this novel set in the 1980s, teenagers Eleanor and Park are outsiders; Eleanor, because she's new to the neighborhood, and Park, because he's half Asian. Although initially wary of each other, they quickly bond over their love of comics and 1980s alternative music. Eleanor's home life is difficult; her stepfather physically abuses her mother and emotionally abuses Eleanor and her siblings. At school, she is the victim of bullying, which escalates into defacement of her textbooks, her clothes, and crude displays on her locker. Although Park's mother, a Korean immigrant, is initially resistant to the strange girl due to her odd fashion choices, his father invites Eleanor to seek temporary refuge with them from her unstable home life. When Eleanor's stepfather's behavior grows even more menacing, Park assists in her escape, even though it means that they might not see each other again. The friendship between the teens is movingly believable, but the love relationship seems a bit rushed and underdeveloped. The revelation about the person behind the defacement of Eleanor's textbooks is stunning. Although the narrative points of view alternate between Eleanor and Park, the transitions are smooth. Crude language is realistic. Purchase for readers who are drawn to quirky love stories or 1980s pop culture.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA [Page 113]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

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.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A first young adult novel by the author of Attachments follows the year-long, star-crossed romance between two 1980s high school misfits whose intelligence tells them that first loves almost never last but whose feelings prevent them from remaining as practical.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

#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 ReviewBono 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 LiteratureEleanor & 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 2013A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013An NPR Best Book of 2013

Review by Publisher Summary 5

A stunning debut young adult novel about two misfits falling in love for the first time