Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell #Audiobook Review

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published February 26, 2013

“Bono met his wife in high school,” Park says.
“So did Jerry Lee Lewis,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be,” she says, “we’re 16.”
“What about Romeo and Juliet?”
“Shallow, confused, then dead.”
“I love you,” Park says.
“Wherefore art thou,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be.”

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & 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.

Source: Library
Rating: 5 Stars - Excellent

Reading Eleanor & Park was very nostalgic for me and made me take a trip down memory lane. I was a teen in the 80’s and can remember making mixed tapes then listening to them on my Sony Walkman. Remember holding hands with your first love? The first kiss? These experiences are all so awkward, new, and thrilling for a teen. Rainbow Rowell paints the emotions so beautifully and realistically in this story.

Eleanor is the new girl. The only seat left on the bus is the one next to Park. He likes to read comic books on the ride to school. Pretty soon Eleanor is trying to read them, too, and so begins the endearing story of Eleanor and Park.

“I don’t like you, Park. Sometimes I think I live for you” 

Once they start talking to each other, the banter between Eleanor and Park is adorable and comfortable. Despite all the drama Eleanor has in her life, Park becomes her rock…her happy place. These two roll their own way and follow what they feel for each other. Their romance is gradually built, feels natural, and is very sweet. I can’t even tell you how much I adored them together! When I reached the end, it took me a while to gather my thoughts. This line in the summary particularly stands out to me:

“Eleanor & 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.”

I appreciate how this story ends. Thinking about Eleanor and Park and how much they mean to each other and all the special moments sprinkled throughout this story just makes me smile!

Narrators: Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra

I’m so very glad that I chose to listen to Eleanor & Park. Told with alternating points of view, the narrators hit all the tender moments spot on without rushing. The parents are important secondary characters, and I especially enjoyed Sunil Malhotra’s narration of Park’s parents, who I think are lovely characters. The well-developed and playful banter is such a huge part of the story, and both narrators did an amazing job! There were lots of moments that made me giggle, cry and do a happy sigh. A delightful and engaging listen!

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