Customer Reviews for

Eleanor & Park

Average Rating 4.5
( 357 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(239)

4 Star

(69)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

47 out of 53 people found this review helpful.

I have no words that will do this book justice. This book is per

I have no words that will do this book justice. This book is perfect in every way, from the imperfect and fractured characters, the 1986 setting, the mixtapes, walkmans, and lack of mobiles, to the raw emotional journey it took us through Eleanor and Park; two teenagers...
I have no words that will do this book justice. This book is perfect in every way, from the imperfect and fractured characters, the 1986 setting, the mixtapes, walkmans, and lack of mobiles, to the raw emotional journey it took us through Eleanor and Park; two teenagers who can't seem to find a place that they belong to, an identity they could proudly call their own, a "someone" they could turn to for help, for love, for friendship.. until they met each other. This book is so powerful. I read it in a couple of hours and I couldn't put it down. The two POVs, switching between Eleanor and Park, gave the readers more insight on what each side is feeling, thinking, and wishing. Something we don't usually witness. These characters were layered, had flaws, faults, and a history that would bring the readers emotional pain, allow them to connect with the characters, and root for them to get together, stay together, and be whoever they wanted and needed to be. 
Rainbow Rowell's gift in writing should not be overlooked. She was able to create such an eloquent novel from a simple setting, Eleanor and Park sitting in the bus on the same chair. That is how they met, that is when we see them together for over 100 pages.. they barely talk, they barely communicate, heck, Eleanor calls him "the stupid asian kid" while Park is just trying to pretend she doesn't exist. Eleanor isn't the stick thin girl, no she is not obese, but she still has baby fat and people make fun of her, for that and her outrageous sense of style and bright red hair. They call her "Big Red". However Eleanor ignores them, for the most part, and tries to not let them get to her. However after she and Park started talking, communicating, and getting to know each other, the bullying took a step back. Yes bullying was still a part of the novel, but me as a reader lived for the moments that Eleanor & Park met because I believed they were the most gratingly honest and through them you just couldn't help but fall in love with them. 
The story is more than a love story, it also includes an abusive relationship, Eleanor's mother and her step father; How I loathed him. I also did not have any happy thoughts towards Eleanor's mother. She has 4 small children, excluding Eleanor, and she still stays in that abusive relationship, stays with the man that kicked Eleanor out of the house for a full year. There is honestly so much family issues and all of them are so realistic which is why they all hit me hard, because many people suffer from being tied to such abusive relationships, and children being the helpless victims to that. I have to say though, I loved Park's family, he is half korean, and his dad loves his mom, so glaringly obvious that it really gives the readers a clear contrast between both families. I would have to say that every single young adult reader must pick this book. Whether they enjoy contemporary or not, this book is not one to miss. I am definitely going to be getting and cherishing a copy when it is out. Rowell, you officially made me a die hard fan. 

posted by majibookshelf on March 8, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

15 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

I don't regret reading the book, it was really sweet. The only t

I don't regret reading the book, it was really sweet. The only thing is that I wish there was more conflict. The characters were well developed, I kept hoping that something more would happen. Nothing much happened... 

posted by Alli_Browni on July 19, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    I don't regret reading the book, it was really sweet. The only t

    I don't regret reading the book, it was really sweet. The only thing is that I wish there was more conflict. The characters were well developed, I kept hoping that something more would happen. Nothing much happened... 

    15 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Unsatisfying, rushed ending

    It was a great story until the end when it seems like Powell just literally gives up on the story. Disappointing!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Set in the 1980s, this is a very cute throw-back story of first

    Set in the 1980s, this is a very cute throw-back story of first love. Though I was just a little girl in the 80s, the references and details of the time period still hit home for me, and I loved this look back in time, especially as most YA books nowadays are set in either the present or future, therefore making Eleanor & Park a refreshing and unique read.

    One aspect that I really enjoyed about this novel is that neither Eleanor or Park are particularly unique. Instead, they are average, just like a majority of the world, and it was especially nice to read about a semi plump girl and a misfit boy because most books I pick up tend to have the ultra-perfect hero and heroine. And while I enjoy those books, there really aren’t that many perfect people in the world, so I don’t always find myself connecting with those characters. But with Eleanor and Park, I was able to connect. I am that plump little girl who doesn’t necessarily fit in—and it doesn’t bother me. Some of my best friends in high school were Asian, and I dated a few of them, though my school was an international boarding school in the 90s, so it’s a little different, but the idea is still the same. It was great to just read about average high schoolers living a little less than average lives, and I really felt for the characters, especially Eleanor and her nightmare home situation.

    Eleanor is a no nonsense young woman. She pushed her way into Park’s heart, unintentionally, and though he tries to fight it and is less than accommodating at first, he eventually falls hard for her. It’s a little different from Eleanor’s perspective. She reciprocates, but non-verbally, and I really liked this slow paced “first-love” story.

    The ending, however, is what really got me. I, personally, didn’t see it as being real. Suddenly their lives are thrown into chaos and everything is upset, which is understandable, but how Park’s parents dealt with it struck me as odd. Now, remember, everyone experiences different things growing up, but my parents and my friends’ parents wouldn’t have reacted the way Park’s do, and so that’s why I see it as unbelievable on my end. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen; I just haven’t experienced it so it sits a little heavy on my heart. Likewise, the ending was left completely open to interpretation, and while I’m always telling my students to infer, to read between the lines and figure it out, I don’t want to do that with this ending. It’s just… I need closure. And while, yes, I can go back through and make an educated guess about what happens, it’s still my interpretation, and this is one of those books where I don’t want my interpretation; I want to know exactly what happens, exactly what the author was thinking. Of course, I can’t have that, and I’ll accept it, but it did leave me hanging in the end, which left a twinge of bad taste in my mouth. Overall, however, is was a cute little story that I enjoyed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

    Not my Favorite...

    I was expecting a lot more from it. Throughout the whole book there wasnt much og a buikding up of conflict...and there wasnt much of a plot whatsoever. Got very bored...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2014

    It wasn't horrrible, but it wasn't life changing, it was just right.

    It was a nice easy read, and to all the people saying teen boys don't fat/chubby girls i say" your very wrong, chubby girls are all the rage these days (boys dont want lines for gfs anymore)." The subtle racism and clickish atmosphere held true to the average midwestern highschool in the mid 80's, but I wish the author got more into the phycology of the characters (who were well made and developed). I like how the ending is realistic to most relationships, but the last page was a bit untastfully written. I read this book because I needed to fill my reading addiction after reading a different series, and subdued me for about a day because it is such a short book. To be honest there wasn't much plot and it bothered me a bit, but in the average first young teen love can be very awkward and strange and some times uneventful (not all teen couples need to be horny all the time, that is lust not love) I can see why some older individuals reading this can find it nistalgic. To those who hate the simplicity of it I say, " not every ficticous relationship has to be dramatic or tearjerking, they can be like how a lot of real world relationships endout to be." I liked this book; the book could've been better, but it's a nice novela-ish book for a person who isn't looking for a time consuming read.
    One of the only YA book in the past couple of years that wasn't utter literary trash.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2014

    Introduced by a friend

    My close friend Tay recomended this book to me in exchange for my book Paper Townd by John Green. I didnt know what to expect from this book when I first started reading it during a gym class that I didnt feel like participating in much like Eleanor

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    Extremely realistic

    The title of this review says it all. No boy Park's age would have the guts to kiss a girl out of the blue. Plus, no offense, but boys Park's age don't go after the fat girls (ie, Eleanor). No parent of a teenage boy willingly lets his son drive through state borders in the dead of night just to drop his girkfriend off to an uncle that may or mah not take her in. I was expectung this book to be great, you know, like Looking for Alaska great. Instead, I got a crappy, highly unrealistic book filled with flat, stale characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    Flightstar

    Flightstar padded out of her den and stretched, looking proudly at her clan. She had built it up from rubble, after a hurricane had hit. She climbed down to the freshkill pile and grabbed a vole, food had been great all year! She settled down under the large oak tree that occupied the middle of the camp, and began eating, she chuckled as a few kits scurried by, playing mouse and warrior.

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  • Posted May 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    To be quite honest with you, I liked this story a lot but I don'

    To be quite honest with you, I liked this story a lot but I don't get all the hype that is associated with the book. I loved the fact that Eleanor is this average girl that comes from a broken home and has to struggle with bullies and other things. I loved that Park was the type of guy that saw through that after some time and they both fell in love. I guess my problem was there was really nothing spectacular that happened. Sure, they went through some tough situations but that ending nearly killed me. It was such a let down that I thought there had to be something MORE. I gave it for 3 stars because it was beautifully written and it was a story that I think everyone can relate too, I just expected more out of it, and didn't get what I wanted. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Do you recemended it?

    I am on cappter 3 and I like it so far. I am in 6th grade should i resd the rest?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    I thought this book was pretty great. I loved the witty banter a

    I thought this book was pretty great. I loved the witty banter and how you got to see both sides of the relationship through their eyes. If your looking for a cutesy romance book that isn't your typical 'hot guy/ girl dating the shy nerdy girl/guy ' but a relationship that is so different from that, this is a great book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Ehh

    So disappointed, the story was good but the ending, ahhh.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 7, 2014

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    Posted September 21, 2014

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    Posted August 23, 2014

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