Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Narrator:  Rebecca Lowman & Sunil Malhotra
Series: n/a
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

"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 sixteen."
"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 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.

I'm sorry to have to be so down about this book, but truthfully, it DID make me feel down.  I'm one of those people that likes to read books that are uplifting or take me away to some place more enchanting and inviting.  E & P was just downright depressing at times.  My goodness.  Don't read it if you've already gone through/are going through your own messed up life.  You'll just fall victim to even more self hatred and loathing.

I just couldn't connect to any of these characters.  ESPECIALLY the emo stuff.  I was never one of those kids.  Why purposely make yourself standout with abnormal clothing choices and lots of black eyeliner when your family's issues already separate you from everyone?  It can't be comforting.  But misery loves company, I suppose.

Eleanor is known for being "different," but yet she gets with this guy who's slightly popular.  She's literally the new girl on the bus whom no one wants to socialize with, and she gets the "cool" guy?  Yeah, no.  That doesn't happen in real life.

E & P just meanders around from one sad thing to another, and I could hardly stand it.  Although Sunil Malhotra's impersonation of Park's Asian mom's voice was entertaining.  When he read Eleanor's lines, though, ugggggghhhh.  Stop with the soft-spoken thing.  She's Eleanor.  Red, curly-haired, self-proclaimed "fat", doesn't-care-about-fitting-in Eleanor.  I hardly think that's what she'd sound like.  So it was pretty hard to listen to him reading her parts.

I highly recommend this book if you're into reading depressing things that ruin your day and put you in a bad mood.  Might even make you feel better about your life.  As for me, give me a sweet love story now! Or something funny to read, stat!  Gah.  I'm getting a tiny bit depressed just thinking about this book.

Rating:   photo 1-1-1.png

About the author:

Rainbow Rowell is the author of ATTACHMENTS. She has two novels coming out in 2013 -- ELEANOR & PARK in February and FANGIRL in the fall.

Rainbow lives with her husband and two sons in Omaha, Nebraska. Right at this moment, she is probably arguing with someone about something that doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things -- or trying to figure out how Sherlock faked his death.

Find Rainbow:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr


  1. This is a really interesting review of this book. I can totally see where you are coming from with this. I love new and different opinions. I reviewed this book on my own blog and had a completely different experience with it. I can really see where you are coming from though.

    And though I haven't heard this audiobook, I already agree about soft spoken Eleanor. She would NEVER be soft. I feel like it says that in the book somewhere.


    1. Absolutely agree. Soft is the exact opposite of everything about Eleanor. It was so annoying to hear how he read her parts. I just kept thinking, "If I was reading this, I so would have heard that differently in my head." Really, really annoying.

  2. Bummer. I get why people dress in a way to standout (since typically the teen years are when we explore who we are and what roles we play), but I have a hard time reading books that leave me feeling down afterwards. Thanks for the review, I think I'll have to suggest this one to a friend who loves this sort of book, but it probably isn't for me!

    1. Apparently, a lot of people are into depressing books. I am definitely not one of them, so this book just sucked the life out of me.

  3. Oh wow. I am really shocked because so many people rave about this book. Not sure what to think.

    1. So I've heard. lol. I was shocked to hear that people loved it! Genuinely surprised.

  4. Aw :( I've heard such positive things, but I definitely see how it was a downer and unrealistic (which I hate). They play the whole "weird" girl to get the "cool" guy too often and that's so not how it works. Also, I didn't know that it was so sad! I'll probably still read it...just not with the audiobook because that really does sound annoying.

    1. No audiobook, for sure. I have to believe that the people that really liked this book must have read it as opposed to listening to it. Audio was just awful.

  5. Oh boy! I'm sorry to see you didn't enjoy this one. I loved it. I also went the audiobook route, and I gave it 5 stars. I know, you're probably shocked by this. LOL But I really enjoyed everything about it. I can definitely see where you're coming from though. I often feel that way about gushy, sappy, too-good-to-be-true, over-the-top romance books. I just sit there the whole time, rolling my eyes, where others think they are amazing and give them 5 stars. Just goes to show you not everyone likes the same type of story. I, for one, much prefer a harsher, more tragic story to a sappy, sweet one. Yes, sweet stories are nice... but I get tired of them very quickly. And too mushy is just NOT for me. But again, not everyone agrees with me. Maybe it's because my life is so different from the tragic stories I read, that I really enjoy seeing that side of the world. It really opens my eyes to the way others live and the experienced they have been faced with that I know nothing about. I'm so happy that you didn't let the 5-star reviews sway your opinion and you gave a very honest review. I've struggled with negative reviews before when the book has so many positive ones... way to stick to your feelings! I'm sure authors really respect reviews like this, knowing that it's tough for us "reviewers" to not love every book we read. I know I respect your opinion. :)

  6. I'm not a big fan of depressing books either :-( But I do give a few a try when I'm in the right mood. I've heard a lot of good things about this but sometimes the audio can be hard to get into. I'll definitely stick to reading this one.

  7. Interesting review. I hadn't heard of this book before. Sorry to hear it was not a good read for you.

  8. WOW sorry you didn't like this book. I didn't find it real depressing just more real feeling. I didn't read the book I listened to the audio and I really enjoyed it. I do think it has to be one's thing though. It is definitely a different type of love story.


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