by Rainbow Rowell
Narrated by : Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra
Published by Listening Library Release date : February 26th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 9 Hours
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • Audible • The Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK 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 the moment Eleanor & Park hit the shelves, it has been brought to my attention in many ways. Some readers love it; other don’t. Parents hate it, schools have banned it. SO, needless to say, it was making waves. In my search for audio books for my new to me driving commute, I snagged this up right away just to see what everyone was fussing about. And now, I see.
Eleanor & Park is such a real and honest look at first love. It’s sweet and just so.. cute. I know, for those of you who have read this are probably wondering where I got “cute” from. But it’s true. I have no admit, their romance was more middle school-ish than high school for me. It was just too good and they were both so naive it was comical. It does add to the appeal, I guess. There doesn’t need to be sex, drugs and drama to make a relationship and that’s not what I am saying. But it was juvenile. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing though.
I remember reading some reviews months back about the writing. I enjoyed the way the story was told. Would I feel the same way if I was reading it? I doubt it, because the back and forth with the POVs so randomly does bother me. I personally write my reviews in that choppy, one word sentence type deal all the time, so I obviously didn’t mind that. Listening to it though, I think it added… something. Could be the narrators, who knows. My point is, I really liked it. Speaking of the narrators, I thought they did a remarkable job. That being said, I was not fond of the pacing. This book is slow. Snails pace slow. I love sinking in and watching as two characters slowly open up and build a relationship. I didn’t really feel like their relationship progresses much, though. Okay sure, from hand holding to kissing to a little more bit more. They slowly learn more about each other but Eleanor really set the pace. She was mean at times and kind of walked all over Park. It just isn’t something I typically read nor like. Not to mention, in this time with waiting for something to happen, it wasn’t even that climatic. And the ending. Whew. Don’t get me started.
On top of the sometimes cute romance, which honestly, consumes the book; there is also Eleanor’s sad and depressing home life. Which would have made this book strong had there been more into this and some resolution. She literally has nothing. Nothing. When things start to get worse for her and hits the fan towards the end, we are left hanging, wondering what happened. I for one, like some follow-up and closure. I know this was the intention. To me, this book wasn’t necessarily about her life or his life per se; it was about two odd teenagers with issues connecting to someone. I get it. That doesn’t change my mind about needing some closure though.
I really loved Park’s family. His mother was reluctant at first and didn’t even like Eleanor, but after a certain run in with Eleanor’s family, she understood. They really tried to make Eleanor feel comfortable and welcomed her into their home with open arms.
My Peeve- No follow-up. What happens? To everyone? Is that IT!? I need more.
Overall- I did enjoy Eleanor and Park. It was cute and sweet at times, watching these two fall in love. Do I recommended it? Sure. It probably isn’t for everyone, especially those like me that like some follow through and resolution. I love Rainbow’s writing so I can’t wait to dive into another one of her books.