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Customer Reviews for

Eleanor & Park

Average Rating 4.5
( 354 )
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5 Star

(237)

4 Star

(68)

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(25)

2 Star

(14)

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(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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  • Posted February 27, 2013

    Meeting on the school bus where Park offers Eleanor his seat whe

    Meeting on the school bus where Park offers Eleanor his seat when no one else will give up theirs. They soon bond over comic books and music and start hanging out with each other. 


    Eleanor and Park come from two different backgrounds.

    Park for the most part is okay with who he is, he does not want a lot of attention, but he does want to be accepted.


    Eleanor’s fiery red hair matches her feisty personality. She comes from a poor family, never having enough or the things that she really needs. Her father is horrible, her mom just accepts things for the way they are and does not try to protect Eleanor and her siblings or try to make their lives better. No matter what she goes through, she hangs in there. She is a tough cookie.


    The story is told from alternating points of view, which helped to get to know Park and Eleanor better. I love stories told this way.


    What I liked:
    These two could not have been more different. I liked that even though they were; they took a chance with each other, found things in common, and shared a connection. They were friends who fell in love with each other. It was a sweet, yet emotional ride.


    Final thoughts:
    Reading Eleanor and Park brought back memories of what it was like to fall in love at a young age; the warm fuzzy feelings and the bittersweet moments as well. It is a super cute coming of age story that I instantly fell in love with.


    ** I received this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for nothing, but my honest review. Thank you!** 

    20 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    Aww...

    I didn't want it to end.

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    Ending made me so mad!

    Loved it until the ending hated it

    16 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Great story of friendship turned to first love

    I read this novel in one day. Very quick read, as in I just had to find out what happens to the main characters. I couldn't put the book down. At points it had me reflecting on my own first love; I found myself both smiling and crying a long with the characters. The only down fall I see with the electronic version is that there are a few grammatical errors throughout the novel. I am going to buy the real book and hoping those errors are not in the hard copy.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    I've been afraid to read books after reading The Fault In Our St

    I've been afraid to read books after reading The Fault In Our Stars because I felt like in my eyes nothing could compare. I saw that John Green,the author or TFIOS reviewed it so I thoughts why not! I am so very happy I bought this book. In just two days I finished the book and suffered post book depression! I immediately fell in love with almost all of the characters, even Parks parents! I recommend this to anyone who wants a good teen romance novel. The book has so many cute moments in it that made me smile for what seemed like forever, and tragic moments that made me put the book against my chest as if I were hugging the characters to comfort them. I love this book and didn't want it to end at all!! Rainbow did an amazing job!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    It was WAY better than what I expected.

    It was WAY better than what I expected.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    very cute!

    a perfect summer read. I read it in a day. the book had tears rolling down my face. it brings you back to your first "love" in school.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Fantastic love story!

    When I heard about this unconventional love story between two not necessarily attractive people, I knew i had to read it. I really loved the story, and the character development and relationship progress were both perfectly paced. The only thing that left me unsatisfied was the ending. There's no closure. You don't know if they will ever see each other again, you don't even know what happened with Eleanor's family. The ending is very sudden and unfulfilling, and for that, I cannot give this book 5 stars.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2014

    I read this entire book in one sitting late on evening, and I re

    I read this entire book in one sitting late on evening, and I really enjoyed it. I love how the story is told from both characters perspective, as it helps you relate and connect with each of the more. I really liked Park's character, especially. My only complain I have about this book is the ending. I do feel that it was a bit disappointing, and I was hoping for something more. All in all I would recommend this book, I just wish it had a little more 'umph' at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2014

    Would recommend

    I bought this for my 14 year old daughter. In her words she really enjoyed reading this book. I didn't get much detail out of her other than she really liked it and described it as an intense read but in a good way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2014

    Teenage Love

    This is the story of two misfit kids who fall in love. Eleanor dresses weird, and Park somehow falls in love with her in spite of her hair and clothes, or maybe because of it. Eleanor holds a lot of secrets about her family life, and she feels like she can't tell anyone, not even Park. When you find out the truth your heart will break for her. Easy read.

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  • Posted September 21, 2014

    When I first picked up Eleanor and Park I was not sure what to e

    When I first picked up Eleanor and Park I was not sure what to expect. The cover is simple and has you guessing as to what the book will be about.  When I read the first page the vulgar language threw me off however as I flipped each page I soon forgot about it all. The book is split with alternating pages between Eleanor and Park. I love it, you get to experience what both characters are thinking as opposed to only getting one side of the story. From the very beginning, I knew this would not be your typical high school romance novel. Eleanor & Park is a story that tells of the romance between two misfits, Eleanor and Park. Eleanor is always standing out because of her weight, bright red curly hair, awkwardness, and funky outfits. Park is a misfit because of the fact that he is the only Asian kid in the entire school. They felt vibrant and real. The relationship builds throughout the entirety of the book. It started out as a reluctant sitting arrangement, to quick exchanges every now and then, to becoming a couple. Every small interaction, every little word exchanged, every time they listened to music or read comics together, only brought Eleanor & Park closer together. It was all very sweet and lovey-dovey, and Small moments shared between the two make the relationship blossom. From the moment park moves his comic book slightly toward Eleanor so she can read along with him to the way his hand wrapped around her scarf and fell into her palm. Everything was subtle yet honest. It makes you remember all the nerves and butterflies you had when you liked someone. One thing I did not like was the amount of problems the author gave Eleanor: horrible stepdad, poor, fat, social outcast. At times, I felt like there was too much to keep track of and the ending seemed very rushed. I did not understand why Eleanor did what she did. Moreover, the unresolved ending killed me. 

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  • Posted September 7, 2014

    Hipster for the soul. After reading ¿Eleanor and Park¿, I felt

    Hipster for the soul.


    After reading “Eleanor and Park”, I felt an overwhelming urge to write a love letter to Rainbow Rowell.  It was everything my old, nerdy, hipster heart needed and more.

    Make no mistake about it, this book is hipster and nerd to the core.  Everything about the 80s that was amazing in terms of pop-culture is here, and everything that needed some good-natured mocking is mocked.  It’s a book filled with nostalgia that can still be appreciated by the young.  In fact, it should be required reading for the new generation of hipsters.

    The writing is sparse, but in a good way.  The facts, and only the important ones, are laid out like an outline to a research paper, softened only by the accompanying thoughts and emotions that can only be found in hormonal teenagers finding love for the first time.  It makes it realistic, and also keeps things from becoming overly romantic.  The heaviness of Eleanor’s situation is never overshadowed by the good, and the good is never completely overshadowed by the bad.  Given the subject matter, that balance being so perfectly accomplished is a testament to the author’s talent.

    The only reason I am giving “Eleanor and Park” four stars instead of five is the ending.  It seemed rushed, and while somewhat understandable, almost out of character.  Given the easy flow of the rest of the book, it was a jarring awakening from a literary dream.

    The ending was not, however, nearly enough to keep me from recommending it to anyone who is old enough to read it.  It is definitely aimed at older readers, with subject matter that is dark and difficult to read.  If given to a younger reader, I would recommend an adult read it and discuss it with them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2014

    Really good!

    Not too original, but it is a really good story.A very unlikely friendship happens to some unlikely people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    Good Read

    At first I didn't really think that I could get into this book because I didn't quite like Rowell's writing style. But I gave it a chance and I'm glad I did because it really was a good story and I enjoyed reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    Magnificent!

    A mix between Romance, Drama and a dash of Comedy. Definetly suggested! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    refreshing to read

    reminds me of puppy love during my high school days. i love how rainbow wrote this in both eleanor's and park's perspectives. this is how pure and raw love is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Loved it

    Eleanor and Park is a lovely romance book. But the end can leave you in tears and wonder. I fell in love with the book from the first page and the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    Good book

    Great teen love story! It honestly took me a while to get through it though. I would recommend it as a good summer read.

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  • Posted June 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    3.5 stars

    I think I'm in the small few that didn't think this book was outstanding and loved it. I thought it was good but very slow. It took me a couple of weeks to read it. It never really grabbed my attention.

    I thought the relationship between Eleanor and Park was a little weird. Nothing romantic just a little off. It's was just two awkward teens finding the good in each other. Could it have been written different? Sure but I think it wouldn't be the book that so many love.

    I liked that the book has people that aren't the typical characters that are normally written in books. Eleanor doesn't have the body type of a twig. She's has a body type that some people can identify with. Someone that is bigger and that's quite okay. Park I can identify with a lot. I myself being half Korean. The only thing that was off for me was most Korean women I know are strict is hell.

    I did not like how the book ending. I wished for something different, there is just too much that was left opened for me. I wanted to know what happened to her family, just more when it came to the two of them. Otherwise I thought it was good and think a lot of people will like the book.

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