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Finally, after wading through lots of simple, boring teen books, this little gem arrives. Without my Entertainment Weekly Bible, I wouldn't have discovered this fantastic teen love story, coming to a movie screen soon near you.
Eleanor is back with her Mom, step-Dad and four siblings in a miserable household attending a new school in 1986, finding an unlikely friend in Park. Both points of view shine light on the loneliness, isolation, bullying, and the dare to hope and connect in the world of teenage angst. When Eleanor thinks she's fat, Park describes her as beautiful. Couldn't wait to hear what the other had to say about the same situation.
This book is well-written, almost like Rowell popped the top on the teen brain with all the first, raw emotions spilling out into a funny, lugubrious, intense singular story line with the perfect ending. Just bought his newer book, "Fangirl" and am excited to see Rebecca Lowman is narrating as well. She and Sunil Malhotra were fantastic in "Eleanor and Park". This was an excellent read.
77 of 83 people found this review helpful
I've never been much of a romantic - more like an emotional porcupine - but I can appreciate a good love story. This didn't strike me as a good one. I never got it. I never understood how it went from sharing comic books and music to this obsessive NEED for each other. The friendship I got. The romance? Not so much. I did like how the author showed the wide difference between how Eleanor saw herself and how Park saw her. I also liked how the story of Eleanor's past was revealed in bits and pieces. It lent to its impact, because the author makes you really like Eleanor and want all the best for her, and then you find out the injustices of her past and it's just that much more maddening. Then there was Park. He is a sweet guy but struggles with his own pettiness. That's part of why I didn't understand the romance part- he's a regular kid worried about what others think. He's definitely a great role model for young people, with his willingness to stick up for the bullied, and in a mean school environment, that's no small achievement of character. But beyond those few plusses, I didn't find the story to be compelling or even particularly interesting. Narrators for both Eleanor and Park were perfect.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful