Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Eleanor & Park
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:$11.20 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

245 of 253 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Set in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny and sad, sarcastic and sincere, and above all geeky. The title characters are both 16-year-old misfits in their working-class Omaha neighborhood. Park is half-Korean in a mostly-white part of town, and is into alternative music and comic books, unlike his brother and dad who are into sports. Eleanor is big (she thinks of herself as fat) and awkward and poor, the oldest of five kids with a painfully difficult home life, and defiantly flaunts her crazy red hair and weird clothes.

They find themselves sitting together on the school bus every day. Over time they're reluctantly drawn together by sharing Park's X-Men and Watchmen comic books. Despite their friends' derision and their families' dismay and disapproval, they fall in love over mix tapes featuring The Cure and the Smiths. A larger, more dangerous threat looms over one of them, skillfully woven throughout the story and coming to a climax in a way that will have you reading faster and faster to find out what happens.

This story of first love---how it's almost always intense and heart-breakingly doomed, how you feel desperate and hopeless and wildly hopeful all at the same time---will take you right back to those thrilling stomachache-y days when you felt like you would suffocate under the weight of the love and lust you felt, and just holding your beloved's hand was enough to make you walk on air for weeks.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
165 of 180 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
When I received the review request from St. Martin's Press, as I always do, I popped over to Goodreads and Amazon to read the synopsis and take a closer look at the author. Had I gone by the blurb on Goodreads (the one shown above), I may have passed this book up. It was what I saw on Amazon that had me anxious to read Eleanor & Park:

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.

It was the banter between these two that I found intriguing. Plus, I am a product of the eighties...if I thought I could get away with it, I would probably still where my hair in some ridiculous angular cut. Okay, not really but you will still find me lovingly listening to "new wave" music while I clean my house. Anyway, what I'm saying is the book seamed like something I would like.

I was wrong.

This book is something that I loved.

When I read on my Kindle, I highlight all the bits I want to remember for when I write my review. There are usually a handful. If you peak at my Eleanor & Park file there is yellow all over the place. There is so much good stuff here, it has it all.

Eleanor has a rough life and that is putting it mildly. After a year of couch surfing she's brought back home to live with her mother, her four younger siblings and her creeper stepfather. She has to share a room with all her brothers and sisters, there is no door on the bathroom, almost all of her possessions were thrown out while she was gone and her mother can't even remember to buy Eleanor her own toothbrush. To say she is an awkward outcast with fluffy red hair and a ridiculous wardrobe would be an understatement.

Park is the only (half) Asian kid in the area. He's not sure where he fits in and no one else really seems to know either. He's not a pariah at school but he is somewhat on the outskirts of the 'in crowd' and is careful to not be completely pushed to the outer limits.

This unlikely pair is forced to sit together on the bus but don't talk or acknowledge each other for weeks. Yet a relationship, a bond, forms between them that is undeniable and utterly heart oozing sweet. When they first interact and become more than two strangers simultaneously riding a bus, watch out because all the warm fuzzies will be spreading from your ears to your toes. The first hand holding is to die for cute.

"Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete and completely alive."

"If you've ever wondered what that feels like, it's a lot like melting - but more violent."

As the relationship develops, so do the insecurities that Eleanor and Park both harbor and so do the secrets of Eleanor's home life and struggle with girls at school. It is the love that these two feel for each other that carry them through each day and living without each other becomes something of an impossibility.

The exchanges between these two is nothing less than adorable and their inner monologues are even better.

"She sat completely still because she didn't have any other option. She tried to remember what kind of animals paralyzed their prey before they ate them... Maybe Park had paralyzed her with his ninja magic, his Vulcan handhold, and now he was going to eat her. That would be awesome."

This started out as such a quirky and fun story, I often found myself giggling aloud. As the story became more intimate and serious, it began to tug at my heart and with one absolute 'mom moment', I was reduced to tears. Not something I do regularly with books.

I won't lie and tell you this a super feel good HEA type of book. It has many super feel good moments but the crux of the story is more profound and questions the power of love - what it makes you do - and what you are willing to give up to hold on to it.

Now, I have recently berated a book for having an untidy ending. Eleanor & Park's ending leaves a lot to the imagination as well. But, I think this ending works and I'll explain why.

First, this is a standalone book. I have not invested hours upon hours developing deep emotions for the story, nor have I spent years waiting and wondering what is going to happen next and how it is going to end. Second, these are teens experiencing their first love, the kind of love that your heart hurts when you are away from the person for an hour. The type of love that stays with you in your heart forever, even if the relationship itself doesn't last. When you're young you think everything will last forever and always be as perfect as it is now. It's not reality. Life gets in the way, growth gets in the way. In my head, this ending was reminiscent of that sort of love and it was quite fitting. Others may not agree.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a first love, somewhat coming of age type story or someone like me who loves the nostalgic feelings that can't help but surface when reading about young love in the age of your own teen years.
77 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
90 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I picked this book up for some light reading on a day home sick from work. I saw the high reviews and thought, not my typical read and I certainly am not the target demographic but, I'll give it a whirl.

I wasn't expecting what I received from reading this book. How to explain what I did get...and the following isn't intended to be melodramatic.

I was sucker punched, emotionally invested (hugely), horrified, awed, saddened, at times uplifted, grateful for some aspects of human nature and then human nature made me horrified by morally repugnant events. I guess what I'm trying to communicate without being overly sappy (and failing) how much this book made me feel. Highs and lows. It was demoralizing and insightful at the same time. There are so many simple moments of raw emotion on each opposite end of the spectrum and they transition so rapidly, you find yourself going, whoah how'd we get here when we were literally just over there? But in a good way.

It is an emotional roller coaster, but one of simplicity. The writing is fairly clean and well presented. The characters are complex in their simplicity and they invoked strong reactions in me. I wanted to get to the next sentence, paragraph, and page as quickly as possible to find out more about them. I was cheering and jeering alternately for almost each primary figure and several secondary ones.

The book starts a little slow and then when you're not looking or expecting it, your stomach drops out on you, just like riding a roller coaster. All of a sudden your roped into this complex scenario which almost everyone who's been in high school has experienced to a lesser or greater degree. (I mean the broad picture of high school and interactions within that framework not necessarily what specific circumstances that occur with the female lead. I don't want to elaborate so as not to give away the story.)

The writer sets her hook in you without you knowing it, and slowly begins to reel you in and then wham - you're in the boat and being filleted thinking how did that happen so quick? I couldn't put this down (but again starts a wee bit slowly) and tore through it.

The author alternates viewpoints without rehashing the same events to death and keeps a very good rhythm and flow. She doesn't answer all the questions for you or wrap everything in a pretty package for you. It's gritty and raw enough to sink your teeth into and yet still leaves room for you to form your own opinion about where the story takes you and how it ends.

It is not a warm fuzzy happy book in most ways but there is redemption and hope in the bleakness that does make it worthy and not a tragedy entirely. I feel as though I'm not doing the story justice with this review but I don't know how else to word this tale. It's sad and inspiring with sarcasm and loathing and real life undiluted through teenagers eyes who are dealing with feelings and experiences that is beyond their years that they shouldn't have to deal with but are none the less. And they do so while experiencing and exploring normal facets of growing up. I guess that's the summation. It blends what is normal and right with what isn't and it doesn't sugar coat the journey while doing so.

I hope you read it. It was worth it and then some. Sorry for the long review but for such a short read it has so much depth that it's difficult to write about the reading experience of it (particularly without spoilers) and convey all its beauty and sadness.

P.S. after posting my review I noticed most of the other reviews were by people who were given copies to read for reviews. I paid for this book and felt it mandatory to say I bought this. There's nothing wrong with that system but sometimes I wonder about those reviews. Are they truthful. Well for this book, I agree conclusively that the reviews were merited in my opinion.

If I could've I would've given 4.5 stars. Enjoy.

EDIT on 7 July 14: I recently re-read this book again due to how wonderful and touching I think this story is. (I swear it gets better every time I read it). Previously, my review garnered some questions regarding what my opinion was on what age level was appropriate for reading this book. My initial review didn't touch on this topic - but you can see some of the comments/discussions on that topic if you hit the comments button below my review. I figured I should go back, edit, and add "my opinion" in the up-front review - this is especially relevant as when I re-read the book this time - I did it with that very topic in my mind.

This book has some graphic language in it. To be clear - the areas that deal with the graphic language and subject matter are a part of the story line and have relevance to the story/plot. It is not just thrown in for the heck of it. It reflects how some (not all) persons of the age group in this book talk however, the truly graphic language (and scenarios) I'm specifically speaking of - without trying to give away the story - have a direct nexus to the plot of the book. This is a young adult book with crossovers to adult readers, but some parents may find some of the subject matter or language objectionable for their children depending on their age/maturity.

I can't speak for every child nor parent out there or what they deem appropriate, want, or don't want their child to read. I can say that after re-reading this book with a young adult audience in mind - parents may want to read the book prior to making a decision based on your child's maturity level. I think 15+ is reasonable (again this is a broad based statement and shouldn't be taken as a blanket response). If you allow your child to watch Rated "R" movies than you may not have an issue with the limited explicit language in this book. Make no mistake, this book has very little to do with throwing around explicit content just to throw it around. It plays a role in the story. It is a touching tale that has aspects which deal with a teenager who is exposed to a negative situation, and that is where the language plays into it. But there is more to the plot of this story than just that negative situation. I'd be very sorry if someone completely missed ever reading this superb story based solely on some limited dialogue. There are very innocent and beautiful aspects of the story as well - which are the majority. The language and scenario I am speaking of is a part of the story, but there are many aspects of the story which are perfectly acceptable and, in my opinion, those aspects are not objectionable.

I wouldn't dismiss this story out of hand because of the language. If you are on-the-fence regarding subject matter content, I would suggest reading the book yourself to decide if it is suitable for your child. It is a worthwhile read for an adult as well. You may end up wanting to wait to let your child read it or deem it OK. In either case I think it is safe to say many people who read this book to screen it for their children will find it moving and heart rending.

This book was written with the intent of young adults in mind, and has receive awards/nominations in the young adults genre. I hope this assists a little more with determining the age level.
66 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I doubt that I fall into the 'target market' for this book. I'm not even sure what a young adult is. Should I recommend this book for my 14 year old grandson? But then I don't think any of these labels or definitions matter at all when the book under question is a really well-written book as is "Eleanor and Park" (EP). I was attracted to it because I had read many complimentary reviews and found it on a number of lists of 2013 best books. And I was in the mood for something different. And EP is very different from my normal crime fiction/spy novel selections, a nice break. Park is sitting on the school bus one morning as usual, when he looks up during one of the stops and spots an obviously new student , lost and frozen in place, looking for a "safe" seat to claim. Her style is all her own right up to the mass of tangled bright red locks crowning her dome (see the cover). Park, anxious to break the tension created by a yelling bus driver ("sit down!"), makes room for her, utters the standard expletive, and gets results.....she sits. It's not a Bogart-Bergman moment. But slowly and tenderly a relationship develops, and it becomes evident that this author knows how to pace her story. But Ms. Rowell's skills go far beyond. She may not know her audience, but she knows her characters, and not just her main ones, but high schooler's parents, siblings and teachers as well. The dialog rings true and spot on. Here are two people who first appear as suited for each other as oil and water, but gradually mesh together in perfect sync. They have their ups and downs, and they face problems from parents and other students, but they are honest and have few pretentions - and they are in love. And their romance works and the story does as well, all the way till the very end. So I recommend this highly - for "young adults" of all ages.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
93 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I’m starting to think I actually need one of those everybody-likes-it-but-me shelves on Goodreads. I wasn't doing much trendy reading the last few years because what college kid has time guys? (I mean, those days when I had one or two classes, oooh was I feeling the pressure!) so I didn't even have a clue really what “everybody” was reading. Now I do and I’m thinking maybe that’s not a good thing… I didn't care for Tenth of December, despite the fact that I’m a satire-loving cynical bitch; I thought Me Before You was way too predictable to be moving or life changing, and I couldn't even finish Ms. Strout’s coma-inducing Burgess Boys. So considering my luck this year, I should have gone in with low expectations for Eleanor & Park. I mean, do I think there’s another YA writer out there like John Green? No, he’s a unicorn. But I thought this would at least be somewhat comparable.

There was a point I fell in love with this book, and it was here:

“You can borrow it,” he said quietly. “Listen to the rest of the tape.”
“I don’t want to break it.”
“You’re not going to break it.”
“I don’t want to use up the batteries.”
“I don’t care about the batteries.”

And this is roughly the point I fell out of love:

“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” she whispered.

Their relationship in the beginning is built on little moments—someone moving their hand a centimeter closer to the other person’s hand, or someone’s eyes shifting in the other person’s direction, then shyly looking away again. It felt subtle and honest to me. I remember reading a film critique of the 1995 “Pride & Prejudice” adaptation with Colin Firth that pointed out how the Elizabeth/Darcy relationship is one of gazes—him staring at her intensely, her considering, with a sideways glance, what kind of man he is. And not only is all that gazing romantic, it’s what viewers want to see; we want to see him looking longingly at her. Using some form of this, Eleanor & Park initially thrives on a kind of restrained intimacy. It’s lovely and delicate, and Eleanor not being able to afford batteries makes that little conversation so poignant...

And then suddenly they can’t breathe without each other. Suddenly it's all Saturdays are the worst. Now we won't see each other til Monday. How will I survive 2 whole days. They go from barely acknowledging each other’s existence to “I can’t live without you” in like 25 pages, which maybe constitutes somewhere around a few weeks in novel-time. And here I thought I was getting “realistic fiction.” Or maybe that is realistic. There are probably tons of 16 year olds who think they’ll die without seeing and touching their significant other every second of the day. So sure, fair enough. My problem with it is, am I supposed to admire this? We’re supposed to like Eleanor and Park, right? We’re supposed to root for them, and want them to be together? Hm. Well, okay. Now I’m going to do one of the things I do best—be the Debbie Downer: Aren't we supposed to encourage kids to dream but also be practical? Shouldn't we want young people to be ambitious and have more than one focus, live for more than one thing? Shouldn't we want more for teens than a Romeo and Juliet scenario?

I gotta say, I didn't think my generation was all that enamored with that play. I've always kind of thought we’re all more of the no-nonsense, have-a-spine persuasion. Or that most of us have at least seen that video about if Juliet had a sassy gay friend. But here’s another story romanticizing that age-old “tragedy” that probably wouldn't have been a “tragedy” if Romeo or Juliet had had, I don’t know, a hobby or friends they actually cared about—something besides teenage infatuation and a misguided understanding of love and commitment.

I know I sound all farty. I’m sure in just a couple years now I’ll be yelling at children to get off my lawn. But Eleanor & Park is a love story, and this love is juvenile, so that’s what I’m being critical of. If the intention here is to get readers to think this is some great romance, to consider this a standard for intimacy, I’m the wrong audience. I went through that phase where I idolized obsessive, doomed romances, and now it’s over.

Speaking of things that are farty, the ending was like the sound of a balloon suddenly losing all its air.

But fine, enough about the bad stuff. What I did like about this book, besides the beginning, was some of the issues it dealt with: poverty, abuse, self identity. Eleanor’s home life is difficult, and Park sometimes feels alone because he’s the only Asian he knows in Omaha. This book is touted as a story of misfits, and that’s not a misrepresentation. But ultimately I wish the author had spent more time exploring these issues and less time having the “star-crossed” lovers talk about how in love they are with each other. ...Then again, I guess that's usually what star-crossed lovers do. If that isn't charming to you, be forewarned.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I don't usually write reviews right upon finishing a book, but Eleanor and Park is different. It's been a few hours since I closed it and my heart is still overwhelmed. I want to crawl inside this book; I wish I'd written it. Truly magnificent. There are lots of reasons why.

1) Eleanor and Park are both REAL. They fall into this relationship in the most bizarre of ways (she's forced to sit with him on the bus) and yet, it all makes perfect sense. A relationship that develops slowly and as friends has a true base, and you can feel it in every word.
2) The home lives of each one are entirely believable. I know people who have as messed up home lives as Eleanor, and they struggle to overcome every day. I also know people who have relatively normal, sane parents who strive to make a good home for their kids, even if they sometimes mess up along the way. Eleanor's world and Park's world are in perfect contrast to one another and they work.
3) Eleanor works hard to rise above the horrible way she is treated at home and in school, but she also has a pretty impenetrable wall that only Park can get around. And yet, he still messes up. It's all a journey and both Eleanor and Park make major strides in becoming the person they want to be.
4) It has a killer soundtrack. I grew up in the 80s and I loved the references to music I knew and loved, and I love how it tied Eleanor and Park together and to the storyline. Music speaks when we can't.
5) The emotions are raw. There are so many and I experienced them all through the beauty of Rowell's writing: pain, anger, resignation, desperation, passion, happiness, embarrassment. You name it, it's there, and each emotion leaps off the page and wraps itself around you.
6) That ENDING. Wow. Just wow. Please don't write a sequel; it's perfect as it is.
7) Rowell's writing. I know I've already mentioned this but it is just exquisite. When Eleanor talks about Park's arms being a tourniquet around beautiful. And it's all like this.

There's a lot of adult language and I did get upset that Eleanor was so hesitant about Park but it's all a part of the story and every single bit makes sense. My heart hurt, my heart sang, my heart got dragged through it all. Now I just want to sit here and hold the book and experience it all again. Yes, it's that gush-worthy. Yes, it's that moving. Yes, you need to read it. Right now. Highly, highly recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Writing a review for this book has been incredibly difficult for me. My first review for it was one word. Just, "Eff." Then I expanded it to three words, "Holy Effing Eff." Then I thought really long and hard about it, and decided that this book deserved many, many, many more words.

See, here's the thing: Poverty is very hard to honestly describe. While I was still a supervisor for a homeless shelter, I often looked for books that I thought I could give to our residents to help them pass the painfully long hours of the day. This was doubly true for the teens, who were hit with the double whammy of being homeless as well as often being years behind in reading. I can still remember the time that I allowed myself to be roped into reading the Twilight Saga so that I could talk books with one of them.

Ye Gods.

I cannot say, with words at least, how much I wish this book had existed then.

Let me say again that poverty is so painfully difficult to describe with any honesty, without sounding psychotic or like you are exaggerating. It's even harder to explain the complex emotions that go along with poverty, or the way that they shape who you are and change you. To respond to the question, "why do you always seem angry?" with "because I'm poor" sounds crass. To respond to the girls in the locker room teasing your hair for being crap with, "it's because I'm poor" seems ridiculous. To explain the fact that your clothes don't fit and you always look weird with, "well, we've talked about how poor I am" is just so. Intensely. Lame. No one gets it unless they've washed their clothes by hand in cold water using dish soap, or rubbed vanilla behind their ears to cover the smell of lack-of-soap. But Rainbow Rowell paints this incredibly vivid picture of how poverty shapes not just Eleanor's world but Eleanor as a character, and it is perfect. I mean, this book is the effing Statue of David of books. Rowell is the effing Michelangelo of writers.

I have to admit I'm just the slightest bit bitter, because if I ever publish anything I know it will not hold a candle to the absolute priceless beauty of this story. God help me. I cannot imagine how to do it better.

But back to the story itself. Eleanor is a girl living in abject poverty, having just moved back in with the mother who has lost her sense of self and the uncle who drinks away all the money needed to keep the kids in clothes with bellies full. Top that off with being the new girl in school, and you've got a pretty toxic situation that all of the kids back at the shelter know all too cruelly well. But Eleanor's saving grace might just be the boy who reluctantly lets her sit next to him on the bus, the cool, stable, upper-middle class Park. Their unlikely friendship turns into a bittersweet teen romance which turns so many stereotypes on their heads.

I don't want to spoil a second of the story, but let's just say that my favorite moment is the second best Star Wars reference in literature. (The best still belongs to the fabulous Gae Polisner.) This book made me laugh and cry like an idiot at work, and I didn't even mind because if anyone had asked me what was up I could've shoved the book on them in giggly tearful fangirl glory and sat on them until they read it so we could talk about how absolutely perfect it is.

No, really. I'm a college student and a mother of three and work part time and all my money is the most precious money in the world, but I will spend that precious money on spare copies of this book because the next time a student at work tells me that no one really understands what it's like to be poor and just trying to make your life worth living, and they just want to give up hope, I will give them this book and say, "someone gets it."

Someone gets it.

Sometimes, that is priceless.

Sometimes, it's all you need.

This book could not be more highly recommended. Five big fat smacks-you-in-the-feels-and-you-love it stars, but 5 isn't enough.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I haven't cried and smiled this hard over a book in a long time. My heart both wept and rejoiced for Eleanor and Park, two high schoolers trying to find their unique place in a harsh world and experiencing true love for the very first time. You'll fall in love with Eleanor and all those who can see her breath taking beauty and courage and fierceness hiding just underneath the hand me downs and scars of her troubled life. And no one touches or is touched by her essence more powerfully than the soulful, "adorable" Park, the "stupid" kid who let's her sit next to him on the school bus in 1986. Just as with Eleanor and Park, if we look beyond the deceivingly simple, flowing surface narrative, we are powerfully impacted by the rich, beautiful layers that describe their journey together and apart. This one's a keeper.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
An often heartbreaking book about young love, adult love, what some people think passes for love, abuse, tolerance, the agony of being young and not fitting in. It's sad, sweet, humorous, and frightening....because you know people like some of those in this book really exist. The author young people talk to each other, and to their parents, and how they think and feel. And how parents, meaning well, often get it so wrong.....and then so right. (I'm glad Park's father reminds Eleanor of Tom Selleck!)

I loved Eleanor and Park, and I already miss them. A sequel, please, Ms. Rowell.

I recommend this lovely read to young and old alike.....if you think you can bear to relive your most vulnerable years.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
44 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm not a big fan of romances but I absolutely loved this book. It is a love story, but not a light one.

Eleanor & Park is the story of two teens who live in Omaha and meet for the first time on the school bus, in 1986. She is the "new girl", "big and awkward, with crazy hair, bright red on top of curly...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...". That is Park's first impression of Eleanor. He is a "weird Asian kid. He had green eyes. And skin the color of sunshine through honey". That's how Eleanor sees him.

They are both outsiders, but each of them in a different way. She just moved in the neighborhood to her mom and stepdad's small house, where she has to share a small room with her other four younger siblings. She is poor. Her family is not perfect...her stepfather drinks a lot and is violent towards everyone, her mother doesn't do anything about that, even though her husband beats her and treats her like a servant and her real father has a new family and doesn't really want Eleanor to be a part of it. On top of that, everyone at school labels her as an outcast the moment she steps onto the school bus. He feels like an outsider because of his Korean origin and sometimes people make racist jokes about him. Parker has some friends but he doesn't have a lot in common with them. He and his brother take taekwondo lessons because their dad loves martial arts and wants his sons to act like "real men". He loves music and comic books and after a few days those two things manage to create a powerful bond between Eleanor and Park. But their relationship has to face quite a lot of obstacles. Will they manage to overcome all the difficulties and have a happy ending? Read and find out.:)

The book was a page turner for me. I read it in two days (it took me so long because I didn't have much time for reading), I really wanted to know what was going to happen with the two characters.

The story is told from Eleanor's and Park's perspectives. I loved the main characters, they were strong and the author allowed them to stand both as individuals and as a couple. The characters evolved throughout the book; in the end they managed to find themselves and to accept the way they were.

I liked the author's writing style. The story seemed very real and all the characters were very believable. Music and comic books have a big role in this book. There are a lot of references to bands and singers from that period (The Smiths, The Beatles, Elvis Costello and many, many others). That's why I think the US cover is perfect for this book.

I recommend Eleanor & Park to everyone and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
Thanks to and St. Martin's Press for sending me this e-book.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Paper Towns
Paper Towns by John Green (Paperback - September 22, 2009)

The Beginning of Everything
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider (Paperback - July 29, 2014)

It's Kind of a Funny Story
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (Paperback - April 3, 2007)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.