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Eleanor and Parkby Rainbow Rowell
This is the perfect teen romance. Set in 1986, the characters bond over mixtapes, comic books, and feeling like outsiders. Both sad and hopeful, this is my favorite book of the year. I've been recommending it to all of my YA-reading friends.
Last year, The Fault in Our Stars was my number one book for this list. So, when John Green gave a glowing blurb for Eleanor and Park, I decided to read it — and I'm glad I did. It's wonderful. Even better than The Fault in Our Stars. It's like a punch to the gut and the sweetest, softest kiss on the lips... and you're going to love every minute of it. Prepare to be all swoony inside.
Billie told me this book would break my heart, and still I went like a lamb to the slaughter. Eleanor and Park is bittersweet and lovely. It's like your favorite song and your first kiss mixed together. You will want to keep it forever in that special place in your heart.
This is the story of two young people scraping against the walls of life as they know it and pushing together to escape everybody's narrow definitions of what it means to be them, sometimes losing that strength, and sometimes discovering it in heartbreaking ways. It's a tactile story, an emotional story, and kind of the most bittersweet thing in the whole world. It also feels real as hell, which makes it all the more gripping. Immediately after finishing the last page of Eleanor and Park, I went back and reread the final chapter, spent some time drying my eyes, and then proceeded to tell as many people about it as possible.
Synopses & Reviews
“Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what its like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what its 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.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy, and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“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
“The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship Eleanor and Park develop is urgent and breathtaking and, of course, heartbreaking, too.” Booklist (starred review)
“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
About the Author
Rainbow Rowell is a columnist for the Omaha World-Herald. Her first adult book, Attachments, was published by Dutton in April. Eleanor & Park is her first young adult novel.
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