Eleanor & Park: Beautiful. Lovely. Heartbreaking.

Eleanor & Park

By Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 5/5 Stairs

EleanorParkI don’t even know what to say about this book. I just finished listening to the audio version on Monday and I just loved it. I was sitting in the car crying. It’s a beautiful, lovely, heartbreaking story.

It’s 1986. Eleanor is the new girl at school. She gets on the bus and sits in the only open seat next to Park. Thus begins a book about first love, discovering yourself, and music. I don’t want to say much more than that. This book is like a love letter, waiting to be opened and read by the reader.

I loved this quote on Rainbow Rowell’s website:

“Reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”

– John Green.

I couldn’t put it any better.

The final chapter came way too soon. I wasn’t ready for the book to end, I just wanted to stay with Eleanor and Park for a while longer. And then the way it ended. This seems to be a theme for me with Ms. Rowell’s books – First Landline, then Carry On – I want to know what happens next! Eleanor & Park was no exception.

If you haven’t already read Eleanor & Park, I cannot recommend it enough.


A note on the audio book – there are two narrators; Sunil Malhotra reads Park’s sections, and Rebecca Lowman reads Eleanor’s. As soon as Ms. Lowman started speaking, I recognized her voice – she also narrates Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places, which is a very different kind of book. It took me a while to stop sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear that Eleanor’s family had been brutally murdered in the middle of the night. Luckily they were in Omaha, and not Kansas City.  😉

6 thoughts on “Eleanor & Park: Beautiful. Lovely. Heartbreaking.

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