I have never seen anything quite like Eleanor & Park. Rainbow Rowell's first novel for young adults is a beautiful, haunting love story…Its observational precision and richness make for very special reading…Evocative sensual descriptions are everywhere in this novel, but they always feel true to the characters…Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book.
John Green - New York Times Book Review
(Ages 13–up.) Half-Korean sophomore Park Sheridan is getting through high school by lying low.... Then new girl Eleanor gets on the bus.... 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.... Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution—imperfect but believable—maintains the novel’s delicate balance of light and dark.
(Grade 9-up.) In this novel set in the 1980s, teenagers Eleanor and Park are outsiders; Eleanor, because she's new to the neighborhood, and Park, because he's half Asian. Although initially wary of each other, they quickly bond over their love of comics and 1980s alternative music. Eleanor's home life is difficult...[and when her] stepfather's behavior grows even more menacing, Park assists in her escape.... Although the narrative points of view alternate between Eleanor and Park, the transitions are smooth. Crude language is realistic. Purchase for readers who are drawn to quirky love stories or 1980s pop culture. —Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA
(Age 14-up.) Awkward, prickly teens find deep first love in 1980s Omaha. Eleanor and Park don't meet cute; they meet vexed on the school bus, trapped into sitting together by a dearth of seats and their low social status.... Despite Eleanor's resolve not to grow attached to anything, and despite their shared hatred for clichés, they fall, by degrees, in love. Through Eleanor and Park's alternating voices, readers glimpse the swoon-inducing, often hilarious aspects of first love, as well as the contrast between Eleanor's survival of grim, abuse-plagued poverty and Park's own imperfect but loving family life. Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike.
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