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17 April 2014

Audiobook Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Sometimes you just come across a book that makes you happy.  While Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell isn't necessarily a happy book, it just made me happy to listen to it.  So many people had been talking about it on twitter, that I knew it was special, but I was scared that (again), I'd be one of those weird outliers who just didn't "get it".  

I was worried that I would miss part of the magic because I was listening to the audio version, rather than reading it.  But I didn't.  The voice actors that read Eleanor's and Park's parts were amazing.  Her voice was so sweet and almost musical, and his was soft and warm (like he was smiling the whole time).

My main hangup with many YA books is that I don't feel that teenagers actually talk and act the way the author writes them.  Or at least, the teenagers that I'm around don't and never have.  But Eleanor and Park were different---they were believable!

I was on the fence about Park's dad the entire book, up until the very end.  He had been such a hard man, but he loved his kids and included Eleanor in that.

Ritchie on the other hand....I can't type the words that describe him.  The FCC would be all over me, and you wouldn't want to read my blog anymore.  I am glad that Eleanor, and seemingly her mom, finally found the strength to do what was right.

As a child of the 80's/90's, I got so many of the references---to music, to hair, even Pizza Hut (cause really, who goes there now?  But back then, it was a weekly dinner at my house!)

And then the end.  Like the last line.  I had to find the hard copy at a book store to make sure it was correct.  It's not often that I yell at and plead with a book.  But I did.  I wanted more.  I wanted to know.  I have an idea, but I WANT TO KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!

My only complaint (besides MUST KNOWING) is not with the book itself, but rather the audio.  I was listening via CD, and I don't know if it was my car stereo, but it didn't show the track number, nor did it say when the CD was over.  Other audiobook CD's I've listened to did.  So I know I listened to a chapter more than once because I didn't realize the CD was over and it was time to move on to the next one!  I remember thinking at one point, "Boy, this sounds familiar.  Maybe it's a recap.  No...."

Eleanor & Park is a magically wonderful book.  It is a must-read, in my opinion.


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