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Eleanor and Park

by

Eleanor and Park Cover

ISBN13: 9781250012579
ISBN10: 1250012570
All Product Details

 

 

Excerpt

1

 

park

 

 

XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus.

Park pressed his headphones into his ears.

Tomorrow he was going to bring Skinny Puppy or the Misfits. Or maybe hed make a special bus tape with as much screaming and wailing on it as possible.

He could get back to New Wave in November, after he got his drivers license. His parents had already said Park could have his moms Impala, and hed been saving up for a new tape deck. Once he started driving to school, he could listen to whatever he wanted or nothing at all, and hed get to sleep in an extra twenty minutes.

“That doesnt exist!” somebody shouted behind him.

“It so fucking does!” Steve shouted back. “Drunken Monkey style, man, its a real fucking thing. You can kill somebody with it.…”

“Youre full of shit.”

Youre full of shit,” Steve said. “Park! Hey, Park.”

Park heard him, but didnt answer. Sometimes, if you ignored Steve for a minute, he moved on to someone else. Knowing that was 80 percent of surviving with Steve as your neighbor. The other 20 percent was just keeping your head down.…

Which Park had momentarily forgotten. A ball of paper hit him in the back of the head.

“Those were my Human Growth and Development notes, dicklick,” Tina said.

“Im sorry, baby,” Steve said. “Ill teach you all about human growth and development—what do you need to know?”

“Teach her Drunken Monkey style,” somebody said.

“Park!” Steve shouted.

Park pulled down his headphones and turned to the back of the bus. Steve was holding court in the last seat. Even sitting, his head practically touched the roof. Steve always looked like he was surrounded by doll furniture. Hed looked like a grown man since the seventh grade, and that was before he grew a full beard. Slightly before.

Sometimes Park wondered if Steve was with Tina because she made him look even more like a monster. Most of the girls from the Flats were small, but Tina couldnt be five feet. Massive hair included.

Once, back in middle school, some guy had tried to give Steve shit about how he better not get Tina pregnant because if he did, his giant babies would kill her. “Theyll bust out of her stomach like in Aliens,” the guy said. Steve broke his little finger on the guys face.

When Parks dad heard, he said, “Somebody needs to teach that Murphy kid how to make a fist.” But Park hoped nobody would. The guy who Steve hit couldnt open his eyes for a week.

Park tossed Tina her balled-up homework. She caught it.

“Park,” Steve said, “tell Mikey about Drunken Monkey karate.”

“I dont know anything about it.” Park shrugged.

“But it exists, right?”

“I guess Ive heard of it.”

“There,” Steve said. He looked for something to throw at Mikey, but couldnt find anything. He pointed instead. “I fucking told you.”

“What the fuck does Sheridan know about kung fu?” Mikey said.

“Are you retarded?” Steve said. “His moms Chinese.”

Mikey looked at Park carefully. Park smiled and narrowed his eyes. “Yeah, I guess I see it,” Mikey said. “I always thought you were Mexican.”

“Shit, Mikey,” Steve said, “youre such a fucking racist.”

“Shes not Chinese,” Tina said. “Shes Korean.”

“Who is?” Steve asked.

“Parks mom.”

Parks mom had been cutting Tinas hair since grade school. They both had the exact same hairstyle: long spiral perms with tall feathered bangs.

“Shes fucking hot is what she is,” Steve said, cracking himself up. “No offense, Park.”

Park managed another smile and slunk back into his seat, putting his headphones back on and cranking up the volume. He could still hear Steve and Mikey, four seats behind him.

“But whats the fucking point?” Mikey asked.

“Dude, would you want to fight a drunk monkey? Theyre fucking huge. Like Every Which Way But Loose, man. Imagine that bastard losing his shit on you.”

Park noticed the new girl at about the same time everybody else did. She was standing at the front of the bus, next to the first available seat.

There was a kid sitting there by himself, a freshman. He put his bag down on the seat beside him, then looked the other way. All down the aisle, anybody who was sitting alone moved to the edge of their seats. Park heard Tina snicker; she lived for this stuff.

The new girl took a deep breath and stepped farther down the aisle. Nobody would look at her. Park tried not to, but it was kind of a train wreck/eclipse situation.

The girl just looked like exactly the sort of person this would happen to.

Not just new—but big and awkward. With crazy hair, bright red on top of curly. And she was dressed like … like she wanted people to look at her. Or maybe like she didnt get what a mess she was. She had on a plaid shirt, a mans shirt, with half a dozen weird necklaces hanging around her neck and scarves wrapped around her wrists. She reminded Park of a scarecrow or one of the trouble dolls his mom kept on her dresser. Like something that wouldnt survive in the wild.

The bus stopped again, and a bunch more kids got on. They pushed past the girl, knocking into her, and dropped into their own seats.

That was the thing—everybody on the bus already had a seat. Theyd all claimed one on the first day of school. People like Park, who were lucky enough to have a whole seat to themselves, werent going to give that up now. Especially not for someone like this.

Park looked back up at the girl. She was just standing there.

“Hey, you,” the bus driver yelled, “sit down!”

The girl started moving toward the back of the bus. Right into the belly of the beast. God, Park thought, stop. Turn around. He could feel Steve and Mikey licking their chops as she got closer. He tried again to look away.

Then the girl spotted an empty seat just across from Park. Her face lit with relief, and she hurried toward it.

“Hey,” Tina said sharply.

The girl kept moving.

“Hey,” Tina said, “Bozo.”

Steve started laughing. His friends fell in a few seconds behind him.

“You cant sit there,” Tina said. “Thats Mikaylas seat.”

The girl stopped and looked up at Tina, then looked back at the empty seat.

“Sit down,” the driver bellowed from the front.

“I have to sit somewhere,” the girl said to Tina in a firm, calm voice.

“Not my problem,” Tina snapped. The bus lurched, and the girl rocked back to keep from falling. Park tried to turn the volume up on his Walkman, but it was already all the way up. He looked back at the girl; it looked like she was starting to cry.

Before hed even decided to do it, Park scooted toward the window.

“Sit down,” he said. It came out angrily. The girl turned to him, like she couldnt tell whether he was another jerk or what. “Jesus-fuck,” Park said softly, nodding to the space next to him, “just sit down.

The girl sat down. She didnt say anything—thank God, she didnt thank him—and she left six inches of space on the seat between them.

Park turned toward the Plexiglas window and waited for a world of suck to hit the fan.

 

Copyright © 2013 by Rainbow Rowell

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Average customer rating based on 11 comments:

The Lost Entwife, December 17, 2014 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
Have you ever put off reading a book because you know that there is no way it can be as perfect as it is, unread, in your head? That's been the case for me with Eleanor and Park. I've read Rowell before (Attachments) and I've purchased Fangirl, and I want to read it, but first I knew I needed to pick up E&P. So, as I sit here coming off of a brutal first semester of graduate school and many, many books read that have challenged me, I knew I needed to pick something up that would make me laugh, a bit. Make me cry, a bit. And, basically, remind me of what it's like to live life and be young, a bit.

I definitely got that with Eleanor and Park. This is what I loved the most about this book - although Eleanor does not fit the mold of most female YA protagonists, there's not a big deal made over that, really. Rowell is realistic. Eleanor, at one point, realizes she's not that "nice" girl that you bring home to your parents. She's Eleanor. And the best part of that realization is when Park affirms that's what he sees in her - that she's not something that is the same old same old, she's something different.

The same goes for Park. I loved seeing him break out and grow throughout the year (and man, 1986 - what a great year for a book to be set - I was 10 years old in 1986 and loved life). I loved seeing his family dynamics change, the love (and lust) his parents had for each other, the stereotypes they also had to break through and the growth they had. You know what else I loved? Having parents up front and center in a young adult book. And not just any parents, a wide variety of the sort - from absent fathers, to brutal step-fathers, to worn-down mothers, to functional marriages with their own problems and, hey, even grandparents. I loved seeing the mean guys actually step up and show humanity in instances, and seeing family step in to protect and care for one of their own.

Basically, Eleanor and Park reminded me of life. Messy, full of big moments and not-so-big moments, that can break your heart or fill it so full you don't even know how to breathe. I wish I had been given this book as a teenager (and that it had existed to be given to me). And I love, love, love Rowell for choosing Omaha to set it in - a place that was home to me in 1986. Now, I can't wait to crack open Fangirl.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Kayley, November 2, 2014 (view all comments by Kayley)
This book will instantly make you remember what it was like to fall in love for the first time and how terrified and excited you were the first time you held someone's hand. Eleanor and Park are both well developed characters with great taste in books and music. That being said there were some times I definitely wanted to throw up from how sugary sweet their romance was and other times I wanted to throttle them both for being so bad at communicating with one another, but thus that is what being a teenager was all about and I probably would have been so over it if I didn't read it in two days. My only real criticism is that they don't really show how or why Eleanor's mother would continue to stay with her abusive stepfather, it would be more realistic and have a bigger impact if they explained more about how impossible it is to get out of those situations.
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skittles2116, October 25, 2014 (view all comments by skittles2116)
This book is on my top 5 list. The story had such good rythm and it made me want to keep reading it. I finished it in less than a day; couldn't put it down.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781250012579
Author:
Rowell, Rainbow
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin
Subject:
Love & Romance
Subject:
Children s-General
Edition Description:
Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date:
20140204
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
from 13 up to 18

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Eleanor and Park Used Hardcover
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$18.99 In Stock
Product details 320 pages St. Martin's Griffin - English 9781250012579 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

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.

"Staff Pick" by ,

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.

"Staff Pick" by ,

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.

"Staff Pick" by ,

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.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.
"Review" by , “Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy, and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike.”
"Review" by , 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
"Review" by , “The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship Eleanor and Park develop is urgent and breathtaking and, of course, heartbreaking, too.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “In her rare and surprising exploration of young misfit love, Rowell shows us the beauty in the broken.”
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