Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Listening Library
Voice Actor: Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra
Awards: All About Romance (AAR) Annual Reader Poll for Best Young Adult Romance (2014), Printz Honor (2014), YALSA Teens’ Top Ten (2014), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award (2014), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award (2014)
Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award (ALAN/NCTE) (2014), Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (2013), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2015), DABWAHA Romance Tournament Nominee for Best Young Adult Romance (2014), Goodreads Choice for Best Young Adult Fiction (2013), Odyssey Honor (2014), YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (Top Ten) (2014)
Finished Reading: June 6, 2014
About: “Two misfits. One extraordinary love.
Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough… Eleanor.
Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises… Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.”
I picked up this book after hearing many wonderful things about it. I really didn’t know what it was about, but I knew it was about two high-school outcasts that met up and fell in love.
Before I even start this review, I need to give a shout-out to Lowman and Malhotra. They perfect captured Eleanor and Park. Their personification perfectly matched how I envisioned them. Heck. Yes.
Eleanor lives in a broken home with her younger brother and sisters. She’s the type of girl no one talks to, and if they do it’s to make fun of her. Calling her names about her weight, her looks, her fashion sense, everything.
Park lives with his parents and brother, and they just don’t seem to understand him at all.
I loved each character on their own, but when they came together it was a whole other level of adoration that I simply COULD NOT EVEN. I odded all over the place, but those evens I just could not.
Maybe it’s because the dialogue was so spot-on. Maybe it was because they bonded over comic books and other graphic novels. Maybe it was because I know that I would totally nerd out with both of them. Maybe because it’s a love that I want to know happens in real life.
I don’t know what the case is, but I loved this book. I loved everything about it. I loved how the characters were all perfectly flawed. I loved how multi-dimensional the background characters were. I just…ugh. This book takes words away from me. And that’s really saying something.
I really wish I had taken better notes (or any notes at all), as I’m sitting down to write this review five months after I read it. Unfortunately, you get my babbles. Embrace the babbles.
My rating and why: I gave this book four stars. I immediately fell in love with both outcasts, and when you put them together I’m in pure bliss. The cards are stacked against the love of Eleanor and Park, but nothing can keep them away from bonding over X-Men, The Watchman, and The Smiths. This is a great YA book with adult appeal. Dealing with everything from bullying, social norms, family status quo and cultural differences, this book has it all. There is a lesson to be learned for each generation. The voice actors are great and really help with the mental images of the characters. Recommend for sure – anyone who enjoys young love, Star Wars references and the mean world of high school and life.
Have you read this book? Have you read anything else by Rowell or listened to anything else with the same voice actors? Let me know in the comments below! Like. Comment. Follow. New review to come Monday!
Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!