Eleanor & Park
From Library Staff
Do you remember the first time you heard Joy Division or The Smiths? Have you ever felt awkward and alone (i.e., Were you a teenager at some point?) Do you want to be vividly transported to that very moment? Then you should probably read this book.
In the 1980s two misfits reluctantly meet on the dreaded school bus and slowly get to know one another. The main characters are interesting, unpredictable, and unforgettable.
Two misfits in love: it’s hard to find a book more sweet and funny than this.
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-- Provided by publisher.
From the critics
AgeAdd Age Suitability
Jenna_Lambert thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
Bookworm1210 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
jasminedafoe thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over
choco_loca_me thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
QuotesAdd a Quote
"Holding Eleanor's hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive."
"Do you think I care about anything but you?" Park says.
There's only one of him, she thought, and he's right here.
He knows I'll like a song before I've heard it. He laughs before I even get to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes me want to let him open doors for me.
There's only one of him.
"I'm sorry about yesterday," she said.
He hung on to his straps and shrugged. "Yesterday happens."
"Do you think I care about that? Do you think I care about anything but you?"
"Nothing was shameful with Park because Park was the sun and that's the best way she could think to explain it." -Eleanor
"....and some of it he even liked. Like her freckles, he said she was candy-sprinkled." -Park
"You can be Han Solo, and I'll be Boba Fett. I'll cross the sky for you." -Park
"You saved my life. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily but you saved my life and now I am yours. The me that is me right now is yours. Always." -Eleanor
"Eleanor was right; she never looked nice. She looked like art and art wasn't supposed to look nice, it was supposed to make you feel something." -Park
SummaryAdd a Summary
Eleanor and Park: two highschoolers who fall drastically in love with each other. They were perfect for each other, they shared comic books, music, opinions everything! Expect their lives outside of school. Eleanor lives in a small house with her alcoholic dad which she hates, her mom whom she loves and her younger siblings whom she cares for so much. Park lives with his mom, brother and dad who expects him to be a man.
Eleanor and Park soon clarify their relationship as a couple and Park introduces Eleanor to his family. His family takes time to like Eleanor but soon enough they accept her. But Eleanor doesn't introduce Park to her family, she's too embarrassed to do so and her family would be so mad if they found out about her boyfriend. Park is curious about Eleanor's personal life, but he doesn't ask her about it.
But things at home becomes too serious and Eleanor is forced to tell Park everything about her personal life, Eleanor says she has to run away because her father has gotten out of control. Park is sad and angry but he agrees to drive her to her uncle's house.
Park and Eleanor spend their last moments together and try to make it as long as possible.
Eleanor leaves and Park leaves, the two star crossed lovers leave each other against their own will.
Set in a school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is a story about two misfits, Eleanor (redhead, wrong clothes, fat) and Park (half-Asian) in love. Their romance starts off as two strangers, sitting next to each other on the bus, reading comics and listening to 80s songs. Eventually, they talk about common interests, books, songs etc.
But their romance is complicated. Eleanor gets bullied at school by her looks, and at home her stepfather abuses her. On the other hand, Park has a tight, supportive family that is one of the best in the neighborhood. Park's house is often Eleanor's hiding space from her abusive stepfather.
As Eleanor and Park's romance grows stronger and stronger, things get worse at home. Eleanor's stepfather swears words to her, threatens to kill her, and writes extremely mean stuff on her textbooks. Until one night, Eleanor comes home from a date with Park, she finds torn comic books, ruined cassette tapes, snapped headphones etc. laying all around in her bedroom. She finds out her abusive stepfather did the destroying. Scared to death, Eleanor starts running away. She runs past Park's house, awakens sleepy Park, and tells him everything. Park decides must to help her, even if it was already midnight...
This book is so lively I want to jump in and live in the book forever!
5 stars-- The reason I rated it 5 stars was the ending, TOTALLY BREATHTAKING!!! The star-crossed lovers must end their relationship as Park drives Eleanor across states, away from Eleanor's abusive stepfather, to her Uncle's house. Even though the journey will take "forever", even though Park will get grounded again (the first time was fighting against a friend who was calling Eleanor mean names), even though Park will never see Eleanor again, yet still, he sent Eleanor away.
"Do you think I care about anything but you?" Park says.
Park is a courageous boy. He helps Eleanor escape for Eleanor's good, but at the same time, he scarifies himself because sending Eleanor away means ending the relationship.
I am moved by Park's actions at the ending, and heartbroken by the resolution-- Why didn't Eleanor call Park??? Why??