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Eleanor & Park


The Deets

author: Rainbow Rowell

released: February 26, 2013

format: hardback, audio-book, e-book

pages: 336

publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Read: March 31, 2013

The Down-low

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. (from

Why You Should Buy It

The contemporary YA book has been praised by John Green, and even though it is set in the late 80’s, it will resonate with teens and adults alike.

My Thoughts

The first thing I love about this book is that it is set in the mid-eighties.  As a child of the eighties, it was so fun to read about kids who worried about batteries (for their walkman), knew what a tape deck was and lived in a world without the technology of today.

The second thing I love about this book is the music.  The book reminded me of Perks of Wallflower in that respect.  In fact, it drew a lot of similarities of Perks.  But while Perks was focused on finding yourself, Eleanor & Park was focused on the blossoming relationship of two teenage misfits.  The two are smart, funny, and nothing what you would expect from a ‘typical’ protagonist.  Eleanor is a tall, redhead who never wore makeup and deals with family issues so ridiculous it will make you cry at times.  Park is half-Korean and while he doesn’t get singled out like Eleanor does immediately, he by no means fits in.  The two together are… adorable.

The culmination of this book was something I NEVER saw coming, and it shocked me in a way that I didn’t expect.  I read so much that USUALLY I can pick up on the plot line pretty quickly, but this one somehow escaped me.

On a personal note, one of Eleanor’s siblings (the ‘baby’) was two while this book progressed.  I began to think about what that meant and realized that I was two in 1986.  That was a bit of a mind trip for me.

The book is about teenage love, but underneath it is about finding someone who makes you see yourself more clearly… a first love that we all wish we could have had.  While there are some darker themes tackled, you will find yourself head over heels for these two misfits.


Four out of Five Stars