Eleanor & Park
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  • Eleanor & Park
  • Eleanor & Park
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Eleanor & Park

4.4 432
by Rainbow Rowell
     
 

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#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 Review

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I

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Overview

#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 Review

Bono 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 Literature
Eleanor & 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 2013
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - John Green
…I have never seen anything quite like Eleanor & Park. Rainbow Rowell's first novel for young adults is a beautiful, haunting love story…Its observational precision and richness make for very special reading…Evocative sensual descriptions are everywhere in this novel, but they always feel true to the characters…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.
Publishers Weekly
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.)
Booklist (starred review)

The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship Eleanor and Park develop is urgent and breathtaking and, of course, heartbreaking, too.
The Horn Book (winner of The Horn Book Award for fiction)

An honest, heart-wrenching portrayal of imperfect but unforgettable love.
Stephanie Perkins

Eleanor & Park is a breathless, achingly good read about love and outsiders.
Courtney Summers

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.
Stewart Lewis

In her rare and surprising exploration of young misfit love, Rowell shows us the beauty in the broken.
The New York Times Book Review John Green

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.
Petra Mayer for NPR Books

Rowell's writing swings from profane to profound, but it's always real and always raw.
From the Publisher

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

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

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

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

VOYA - Deborah Wenk
Park sees the new girl at the front of the bus and fills the empty seat next to him with his books. She eventually ends up sitting next to him anyway, after the vicious pack at the back of the bus targets her for their pointed remarks. As the days go by, he notices her reading the comics on his lap--they tentatively ease into conversation which, in time, leads to discovering feelings for each other. Eleanor's home life is wretched. She shares a room with her four siblings and the bathroom is in the kitchen with no wall or door. Richie, her mother’s abusive, alcoholic husband, had kicked Eleanor out of the house the previous year. She has been allowed to return to the family but has to stay under the radar. This is a sweet, touching story of first love. Told from both perspectives, the story’s emphasis rests with Eleanor--how she keeps within herself at home but allows Park in as she learns to trust him. Being with Park is Eleanor’s only sanctuary yet he is more lyrical when describing their relationship. When he holds her hand, he says it is “like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like something complete, and completely alive.” When Richie’s twisted malevolence toward Eleanor reaches a boiling point, Eleanor knows she has to leave. Can Park let her go? The bittersweet ending hints at hope for two characters who readers will have come to care about. This is a stunning debut from a promising new author. Ages 15 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
Awkward, prickly teens find deep first love in 1980s Omaha. Eleanor and Park don't meet cute; they meet vexed on the school bus, trapped into sitting together by a dearth of seats and their low social status. Park, the only half-Korean fan of punk and New Wave at their high school, is by no means popular, but he benefits from his family's deep roots in their lower-middle-class neighborhood. Meanwhile, Eleanor's wildly curly red mane and plus-sized frame would make her stand out even if she weren't a new student, having just returned to her family after a year of couch-surfing following being thrown out by her odious drunkard of a stepfather, Richie. Although both teens want only to fade into the background, both stand out physically and sartorially, arming themselves with band T-shirts (Park) and menswear from thrift stores (Eleanor). Despite Eleanor's resolve not to grow attached to anything, and despite their shared hatred for clichés, they fall, by degrees, in love. Through Eleanor and Park's alternating voices, readers glimpse the swoon-inducing, often hilarious aspects of first love, as well as the contrast between Eleanor's survival of grim, abuse-plagued poverty and Park's own imperfect but loving family life. Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike. (Fiction. 14 & up)
School Library Journal
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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250012579
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/26/2013
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
301
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.08(d)
Lexile:
HL580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

1

park

  

XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus.

Park pressed his headphones into his ears.

Tomorrow he was going to bring Skinny Puppy or the Misfits. Or maybe he’d make a special bus tape with as much screaming and wailing on it as possible.

He could get back to New Wave in November, after he got his driver’s license. His parents had already said Park could have his mom’s Impala, and he’d been saving up for a new tape deck. Once he started driving to school, he could listen to whatever he wanted or nothing at all, and he’d get to sleep in an extra twenty minutes.

“That doesn’t exist!” somebody shouted behind him.

“It so fucking does!” Steve shouted back. “Drunken Monkey style, man, it’s a real fucking thing. You can kill somebody with it.…”

“You’re full of shit.”

You’re full of shit,” Steve said. “Park! Hey, Park.”

Park heard him, but didn’t answer. Sometimes, if you ignored Steve for a minute, he moved on to someone else. Knowing that was 80 percent of surviving with Steve as your neighbor. The other 20 percent was just keeping your head down.…

Which Park had momentarily forgotten. A ball of paper hit him in the back of the head.

“Those were my Human Growth and Development notes, dicklick,” Tina said.

“I’m sorry, baby,” Steve said. “I’ll teach you all about human growth and development—what do you need to know?”

“Teach her Drunken Monkey style,” somebody said.

“Park!” Steve shouted.

Park pulled down his headphones and turned to the back of the bus. Steve was holding court in the last seat. Even sitting, his head practically touched the roof. Steve always looked like he was surrounded by doll furniture. He’d looked like a grown man since the seventh grade, and that was before he grew a full beard. Slightly before.

Sometimes Park wondered if Steve was with Tina because she made him look even more like a monster. Most of the girls from the Flats were small, but Tina couldn’t be five feet. Massive hair included.

Once, back in middle school, some guy had tried to give Steve shit about how he better not get Tina pregnant because if he did, his giant babies would kill her. “They’ll bust out of her stomach like in Aliens,” the guy said. Steve broke his little finger on the guy’s face.

When Park’s dad heard, he said, “Somebody needs to teach that Murphy kid how to make a fist.” But Park hoped nobody would. The guy who Steve hit couldn’t open his eyes for a week.

Park tossed Tina her balled-up homework. She caught it.

“Park,” Steve said, “tell Mikey about Drunken Monkey karate.”

“I don’t know anything about it.” Park shrugged.

“But it exists, right?”

“I guess I’ve heard of it.”

“There,” Steve said. He looked for something to throw at Mikey, but couldn’t find anything. He pointed instead. “I fucking told you.”

“What the fuck does Sheridan know about kung fu?” Mikey said.

“Are you retarded?” Steve said. “His mom’s Chinese.”

Mikey looked at Park carefully. Park smiled and narrowed his eyes. “Yeah, I guess I see it,” Mikey said. “I always thought you were Mexican.”

“Shit, Mikey,” Steve said, “you’re such a fucking racist.”

“She’s not Chinese,” Tina said. “She’s Korean.”

“Who is?” Steve asked.

“Park’s mom.”

Park’s mom had been cutting Tina’s hair since grade school. They both had the exact same hairstyle: long spiral perms with tall feathered bangs.

“She’s fucking hot is what she is,” Steve said, cracking himself up. “No offense, Park.”

Park managed another smile and slunk back into his seat, putting his headphones back on and cranking up the volume. He could still hear Steve and Mikey, four seats behind him.

“But what’s the fucking point?” Mikey asked.

“Dude, would you want to fight a drunk monkey? They’re fucking huge. Like Every Which Way But Loose, man. Imagine that bastard losing his shit on you.”

Park noticed the new girl at about the same time everybody else did. She was standing at the front of the bus, next to the first available seat.

There was a kid sitting there by himself, a freshman. He put his bag down on the seat beside him, then looked the other way. All down the aisle, anybody who was sitting alone moved to the edge of their seats. Park heard Tina snicker; she lived for this stuff.

The new girl took a deep breath and stepped farther down the aisle. Nobody would look at her. Park tried not to, but it was kind of a train wreck/eclipse situation.

The girl just looked like exactly the sort of person this would happen to.

Not just new—but big and awkward. With crazy hair, bright red on top of curly. And she was dressed like … like she wanted people to look at her. Or maybe like she didn’t get what a mess she was. She had on a plaid shirt, a man’s shirt, with half a dozen weird necklaces hanging around her neck and scarves wrapped around her wrists. She reminded Park of a scarecrow or one of the trouble dolls his mom kept on her dresser. Like something that wouldn’t survive in the wild.

The bus stopped again, and a bunch more kids got on. They pushed past the girl, knocking into her, and dropped into their own seats.

That was the thing—everybody on the bus already had a seat. They’d all claimed one on the first day of school. People like Park, who were lucky enough to have a whole seat to themselves, weren’t going to give that up now. Especially not for someone like this.

Park looked back up at the girl. She was just standing there.

“Hey, you,” the bus driver yelled, “sit down!”

The girl started moving toward the back of the bus. Right into the belly of the beast. God, Park thought, stop. Turn around. He could feel Steve and Mikey licking their chops as she got closer. He tried again to look away.

Then the girl spotted an empty seat just across from Park. Her face lit with relief, and she hurried toward it.

“Hey,” Tina said sharply.

The girl kept moving.

“Hey,” Tina said, “Bozo.”

Steve started laughing. His friends fell in a few seconds behind him.

“You can’t sit there,” Tina said. “That’s Mikayla’s seat.”

The girl stopped and looked up at Tina, then looked back at the empty seat.

“Sit down,” the driver bellowed from the front.

“I have to sit somewhere,” the girl said to Tina in a firm, calm voice.

“Not my problem,” Tina snapped. The bus lurched, and the girl rocked back to keep from falling. Park tried to turn the volume up on his Walkman, but it was already all the way up. He looked back at the girl; it looked like she was starting to cry.

Before he’d even decided to do it, Park scooted toward the window.

“Sit down,” he said. It came out angrily. The girl turned to him, like she couldn’t tell whether he was another jerk or what. “Jesus-fuck,” Park said softly, nodding to the space next to him, “just sit down.

The girl sat down. She didn’t say anything—thank God, she didn’t thank him—and she left six inches of space on the seat between them.

Park turned toward the Plexiglas window and waited for a world of suck to hit the fan.

 

Copyright © 2013 by Rainbow Rowell

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