Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

Book - 2013
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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.
Publisher: New York : Listening Library, 2013
ISBN: 9781250012579
Branch Call Number: ROW
Additional Contributors: Lowman, Rebecca
Malhotra, Sunil
Alternative Title: Eleanor and Park

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Epic Love Stories
bpl_staff Feb 10, 2020

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.


From the critics


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m
MOney101_1
Jan 28, 2020

Eleanor is considered the new girl in the flats and we all know what that means .. due to her being socially awkward and physically different compared to everyone else , she doesn’t get the warmest welcome. Which led her to meet a “Stupid Asian Kid” (Park) that little did she know would impact her life tremendously. This book is really emotional and honestly the best love story I ever read .But before you read just know it NEEDS a sequel!

k
kbpepperell
Dec 13, 2019

September 2020

f
fantasyqueen
Dec 11, 2019

Cutest story I've read in a long while. Back to high school and one's first crush/love and all the foibles that go with that. Most enjoyable book.

ArapahoeTina Oct 26, 2019

Definitely one of my favorite young adult books. I could read this tale of young romance--complete with 80s nostalgia, diverse themes and all the feels--again and again.

Eleanor is new, vibrant, and out of place, where Park is jaded, reclusive, and trying his best to become invisible. So really, it’s only natural that they gravitate towards each other one fateful morning on the bus, and embark on a tumultuous and helplessly heartfelt teenage relationship. However, what might have been a first love of naivety between two starry-eyed teenagers is quickly endangered when Eleanor’s rowdy family and turbulent relationship with her stepfather reaches a long-awaited boiling point. In the midst of everything, how will Eleanor and Park manage to stay true to each other, and more importantly, stay safe?

As someone who tends to not like romance books, I was initially skeptical with Eleanor and Park, and very prepared to not enjoy it. This book couldn’t have proved me to be more wrong. Rowell created a relationship in which both people know it won’t last, but still wish it could anyway, which I found to be a refreshing contrast from most other teen romance books. I also enjoyed how there were several other plots and characters that were important in the story, and how the main focus wasn’t necessarily the romance, but the rare instance of finding someone you can understand, and who understands you as well. I would recommend this book to people looking for books about romance, volatile family relationships, and a new type of romance story.

Publication date: 2012
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance
Recommended for: 14 and up
-Ciella

jcljessicaj Oct 16, 2019

Wow, this book! It'll make you smile, melt, break, cry, and feel hope. What a beautiful, wild ride.

s
sabonn
Oct 03, 2019

this book is SUPER RACIST and Rowell should be ashamed to have written it! DO NOT READ THIS BOOK/LET YOUR KIDS READ THIS BOOK.

I would give this book 0 stars if I could.

The entirety of this book is super racist towards East Asian people, specifically Korean people but also black people. Rowell constantly writes Eleanor having/making racist stereotypical thoughts/remarks, and compares Park to a fictional character that is an allegory for yellow peril. She writes Park as thinking that no one finds Asian guys hot, but Asian girls are found attractive because "guys find them exotic" as if that's a good thing and YES THAT IS A DIRECT QUOTE STRAIGHT FROM THE BOOK. Rowell describes Park and his brother's eyes as "almondy" and "almond-tasting" (whatever that means aside from being obviously racist).

Rowell constantly has Eleanor objectifying Park, and even objectifies his Korean mother, referring to Park's mother as his caucasian father's "Dainty China person" to be moved around as he pleases-- she's not even a person, just a literal object. His mother was also 'liberated' from her 'oppressive country,' and she speaks only broken english, while his dad is a war vet & he 'liberated' her when they met during the war.

Eleanor's black "friends" (the only thing they do in the book is comment on how cute Park is) are named DeNice and Beebi and one of them is engaged while in highschool (stereotype) and they've "accepted Eleanor into their club" (ie: the "you're not like OTHER white people" club).

Rowell also has Eleanor openly admit to fetishizing Park: '“I don’t know if I’m thinking you’re cute because you’re Korean, but I don’t think it’s in spite of it […] Maybe I’m really attracted to Korean guys”' and once again, that is a direct quote from the book itself.

Rowell should be ashamed of this book for being extremely racist and for perpetuating very harmful Korean stereotypes. Sadly, she has refused to apologize for this book when confronted. 0/5 stars, 0/10, I returned this book to the store after reading it to see if Eleanor changed and NO she continues fetishizing Park right to the end.

e
EljayJohnson
Jul 14, 2019

An intense, beautiful, believable, YA love story featuring 2 very interesting and unique characters. I've been told the ending is divisive amongst readers, but I thought it was perfect.

b
blue_book_169
Jun 28, 2019

This book portrays two teenagers' relationship beautifully. The ending is painfully bittersweet and leaves the reader feeling nostalgia. I loved experiencing their relationship develop but I do feel that one thing Rowell kind of lacks is tying up the story. I wish the ending didn't come so abruptly, but I do understand that the book calls for that kind of ending. Furthermore, the alternating between characters sometimes is so close to each other that the story becomes confusing between the point of views. Overall though, it is a must read for all teenagers. Loved it!

TSCPL_Miranda Apr 02, 2019

I know I'm late to the party on this one, but I finally got around to reading this book, and I couldn't love it more. So many feelings! Nostalgia for my teen years (and shuddering at my teen years), happiness, heartbreak, and hope for these wonderful characters. I love Eleanor and Park, both. I hadn't read much about the book before reading it, and I was surprised by how dark Eleanor's home life is. Despite the young love angle, this is in many ways a sad and difficult book. Eleanor is dealing with an abusive stepfather and terrible conditions at home. The storyline and character of the abusive man were so well-written that it triggered all kinds of bad memories for me--that subtle-from-the-outside but iron-tight control, confusing moments of kindness against the foil of cruelty, and the fine line that will someday be crossed. Despite the darkness, it's a really beautiful book. And that upturn at the end...oh, thank goodness for that.

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Quotes

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m
MOney101_1
Jan 28, 2020

“ You don’t have to say goodbye to me ever. “ “Just tonight. “

ArapahoeMaryA Sep 27, 2018

He tried to remember how this happened—how she went from someone he’d never met to the only one who mattered.

l
leafshadow
Dec 07, 2015

"Park's eyes got wide. Well, sort of wide. Sometimes she wondered if the shape of his eyes affected how he saw things. That was probably the most racist question of all time."
:))) not racist at all :))

x
xzhang17
Aug 24, 2015

“He made her feel like more than the sum of her parts.”

x
xzhang17
Aug 24, 2015

“I just want to break that song into pieces and love them all to death.”

x
xzhang17
Aug 24, 2015

“I want everyone to meet you. You're my favorite person of all time.”

x
xzhang17
Aug 24, 2015

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

x
xzhang17
Aug 24, 2015

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

h
hmhill613
Aug 02, 2015

"She was pretty sure she'd thank him for saving her life. Not just yesterday, but, like, practically every day since they'd met. Which made her feel like the dumbest, weakest, girl. If you couldn't save your own life, was it even worth saving?"

h
hmhill613
Aug 02, 2015

"'There's no reason to think we're going to stop loving each other,' he said. 'And there's every reason to think that we won't.'"

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Age Suitability

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m
MOney101_1
Jan 28, 2020

MOney101_1 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

m
MinGenius
Aug 05, 2019

MinGenius thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

d
denaahmet2003
Jul 30, 2019

denaahmet2003 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

i
ilikesushi
Jun 20, 2018

ilikesushi thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

s
StripyZehbra
Mar 17, 2018

StripyZehbra thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

b
blue_bee_1863
Jan 06, 2018

blue_bee_1863 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

kelly_williams Jul 15, 2017

kelly_williams thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 25

m
mlinard
Jun 24, 2017

mlinard thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

c
carleighfuller
Aug 23, 2016

carleighfuller thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

e
ecarr1212
Aug 01, 2016

ecarr1212 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Summary

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siammarino Nov 30, 2015

This book reminded me how hard high school can be, how difficult their family life often is, and how deeply teenagers can be in love. A great teen read!

x
xzhang17
Aug 22, 2015

The moment Park reluctantly lets Eleanor, the new girl, sit next to him on the bus, he allows the beginnings of an extraordinary love to form. From their mutual love of comic books and music to understanding each other in ways no one else comes close to, it isn’t long before they are seeing each other outside of school. However, their romantic relationship is far from perfect with interfering stepfathers, school bullies, and social/economical crags Eleanor and Park must face. Will Eleanor and Park’s love be able to see them through?

a
Arii
Jun 28, 2015

This is a beautifully written romance novel. It describes true love and acceptance for personality instead of looks. It shows you the perspectives of both characters and shows their true appreciation for one another.

p
pandaasian2
Jun 25, 2015

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.

d
db8r413
Jun 04, 2015

Eleanor and Park begrudgingly start sharing a bus seat when Eleanor is a new student at Park's high school. They discover they have more in common than being misfits - he teaches her about comic books, she teaches him about the Beatles, and much of their relationship centers around the mixed tapes Park makes for Eleanor (it is, after all, 1986). From these simple beginnings, the two young lovers must face realities that are far beyond their years, but at least they have each other.

s
Siger
Aug 13, 2014

Eleanor and Park: two highschoolers who fall drastically in love with each other. They were perfect for each other, they shared comic books, music, opinions everything! Expect their lives outside of school. Eleanor lives in a small house with her alcoholic dad which she hates, her mom whom she loves and her younger siblings whom she cares for so much. Park lives with his mom, brother and dad who expects him to be a man.
Eleanor and Park soon clarify their relationship as a couple and Park introduces Eleanor to his family. His family takes time to like Eleanor but soon enough they accept her. But Eleanor doesn't introduce Park to her family, she's too embarrassed to do so and her family would be so mad if they found out about her boyfriend. Park is curious about Eleanor's personal life, but he doesn't ask her about it.
But things at home becomes too serious and Eleanor is forced to tell Park everything about her personal life, Eleanor says she has to run away because her father has gotten out of control. Park is sad and angry but he agrees to drive her to her uncle's house.
Park and Eleanor spend their last moments together and try to make it as long as possible.
Eleanor leaves and Park leaves, the two star crossed lovers leave each other against their own will.

t
TwoPixies
May 21, 2014

Two school kids fall in love when they sit next together on the bus. It i s an adorable love story that will make your day.

LibraryK8 May 31, 2013

Set in 1986, this story is filled with acid-wash, walkmans and punk music. Eleanor just doesn’t fit in, her red frizzy hair and eclectic wardrobe choices make her stand out like a sore thumb. Park’s goal is to fly under the radar, never at the bottom of the social ladder, but with no ambitions to climb to the top, he strives for mediocrity. But Park stands out when Eleanor climbs onto his bus one morning. With nowhere else to sit, Eleanor and Park become unwilling bench-mates. Over time, and without speaking the two begin to get to know each other. Eleanor reads comics over Park’s shoulder, and listens to The Smiths on his Walkman. Without even realizing it, they have become more than friends. Trying to avoid her cruel step-father, Eleanor spends more and more time with Park while Park tries to deal with the attention that having such an eccentric girlfriend brings.

Notices

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v
ValeriePatulot
Jul 22, 2015

Coarse Language: bit of swearing

v
ValeriePatulot
Jul 22, 2015

Sexual Content: intimate scenes, sexual notes

v
ValeriePatulot
Jul 22, 2015

Violence: domestic abuse, child abuse, bullying

v
ValeriePatulot
Jul 22, 2015

Frightening or Intense Scenes: violent stepdad

a
Ashw9
Jul 04, 2015

Sexual Content: No sex, but very close to it.

t
TwoPixies
May 21, 2014

Coarse Language: There are a lot of bad words in the book.

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