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Eleanor & Park Hardcover – February 26, 2013
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- Publisher : St. Martin's Griffin (February 26, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250012570
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250064875
- Reading age : 13 - 18 years
- Lexile measure : HL580L
- Grade level : 8 - 12
- Item Weight : 14.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.95 x 1.14 x 8.52 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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“Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”
Can you all believe I had never read this book until now? Yeah, neither can I. Because that is CRAZY! To be fair, I put it off a lot. In a weird way that doesn't make sense, I didn't want to ruin Fangirl. And this book didn't, I still love Fangirl, I just have a different kind of love for Eleanor and Park.
This book is about two outcast teens who become friends when they are forced to sit next to each other on the bus to and from school. At first, they don't really understand each other, but as time goes by, they want to get to know each other and develop an amazing friendship, and then romance.
“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.”
This is going to be a shorter review because I think everyone has already said all the things about this book. But MY HEART. This book made me wish that men like Park existed in real life, because no man could measure up to this guy. And Eleanor, I bled for that girl. I just wanted to hug her and tell her she was beautiful and that someone cared.
Anyways, if you are stupid like me and haven't read this book, you need to correct this giant mistake asap. You won't regret this one!
“I don't like you, Park," she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. "I..." - her voice nearly disappeared - "think I live for you."
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
"I don't think I even breathe when we're not together," she whispered. "Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it's been like sixty hours since I've taken a breath. That's probably why I'm so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we're apart is think about you, and all I do when we're together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I'm so out of control, I can't help myself. I'm not even mine anymore, I'm yours, and what if you decide that you don't want me? How could you want me like I want you?"
He was quiet. He wanted everything she'd just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with 'I want you' in his ears.”
As I approached the middle of the book, it reached a plateau. Eleanor would get mad at Park for petty things. The storyline also dragged on. So boring. They annoying part was flipping back and forth from Park and Eleanor’s narrative.
I was halfway into the book (took me maybe two hours) and decided I’ve had enough. I jumped to last chapter and was so disappointed in how it ended! Although I understood what happened, It still seemed vague. No closure! I’m glad I didn’t waste my time reading the rest of the book.
Top reviews from other countries
While the book does have a slow-burning cute romance, and a hefty amount of more serious family issues, I really struggled with the fact that for me, the majority of the romance was so unbelievable.
It is a YA novel about a teen romance, so something we have all seen before, but it was somehow very different from the average novel of this genre. Eleanor and Park are both so well written they seem completely real, and it feels like their relationship could and would happen in real life. The way they communiate on their bus journeys was just so touching, and was so authntic as to how teenage romances are in the beginning.
It also meant a lot that the main characters were more diverse than the norm. In YA fiction, I have never come across a female protagonist who was described as fat, unless the story involved her losing weight in order to achieve her happily ever after. This is not the case with Eleanor. She is not thin, and that's just how it is. She still gets the guy, and still deserves to be happy and in love - a mesaage that young girls could do with hearing much more often. Park is also the first Korean leading man that I have read about, and there is a passage in the book that refers to how asian men are often overlooked, so it is good to see a character like this in the limelight, discussing openly what it is like to grow up in a household like his.
There are some painful experiences for the characters in this book, along with some moments of sheer happiness and excitement, and as a reader I felt like I lived through all of these moments with them. Eleanor has a tough life, but she finds an escape with Park, and this means that the book remains hopeful, even through the dark moments.
This is a wonderful YA book, the best I have read in a while.
I'm not sure how I feel about the ending of this book (it is left in a way that you, the reader, decide the ending). I like closure, and this book didn't give it to me. So I'm not sure if I like that. It was, however, a fitting end for the book. I'm just not sure if I'm happy it ended in the way it did, or extremely angry. That's why I've given this book 4/5, because I can't decide.
I'd recommend this book to people who like YA coming of age/romance books, such as The Fault in Our Stars - which is what made me read the book initially, John Greene's recommendation.
Beautiful story. Memorable. Made me laugh and cry a lot, and I'm sure it'll stay with me for a while. I'm just kind of hoping eventually, just maybe, the author will decide to follow up on the ending and let us know how Eleanor and Park are getting on.
- Also posted on my Goodreads account -