Reviews for Eleanor & Park


AudioFile Reviews 2013 May
Two narrators tell the nuanced story of an unlikely first love. The actors excel at differentiating the multiple shifting viewpoints within each chapter of the story. More importantly, they give full voice to the inner feelings and outer expressions of Eleanor and Park and the interplay that depicts their tender relationship. Sunil Malhotra's neutral conversational tones portray the stability and comfort Park gives Eleanor, a young woman who is tormented by her mercurial stepfather. Malhotra shows Park's internal swings from self-deprecation at his awkwardness to the heightened emotions of his extreme feelings. Rebecca Lowman portrays the defiant, witty comments that belie Eleanor's fears. In particular, Lowman expresses Eleanor's longing for a safe haven and her determined resilience. The poignant story ends on an emotional crescendo. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #6
Two high school misfits begin an unlikely friendship that turns into love. When Park sees the big, awkward girl with the wild red hair get on the bus, he knows she's going to have a hard time in school. Then Eleanor sits next to him, and continues to do so day after day. Eventually, the two find common interests in music and comics. Rowell's honest depiction of the tender trepidation of first love is expertly handled by the two narrators. Lowman keeps Eleanor's voice steady and devoid of emotion without sounding robotic; she is portraying a girl who is trying to be tough because that is how she survives. But as Eleanor begins to care for Park, we hear the tiniest hint of emotion creep into her voice. Malhotra's portrayal of Park feels so real that the listener steps inside the teenage boy's thoughts. Both narrators are perfectly suited to their roles; the alternating narration is seamless. Their voices evolve and become more intimate as the relationship between Eleanor and Park deepens; the underlying tension is felt and heard in every breath that Eleanor utters, every sweet thing that Park says. Put this one on your not-to-be-missed playlist. angela j. reynold Copyright 2013 Horn Book Magazine.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #5

Eleanor is the new girl, big, red-haired, dressed with a defiantly grungy lack of style, and a perfect target for ridicule and harassment in half-Korean sophomore Park's Omaha, Neb., high school. Park doesn't even want the weirdo sitting by him on the bus. But no one else will share a seat with Eleanor, so he--a misfit himself--reluctantly offers. Each day that passes gives them a chance to learn more about each other--the books they like, the music they share. They start to rely on each other to get through difficult times with their families and classmates. And eventually what they have becomes love. Narrators Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra turn in superb performances in their portrayal of Eleanor and Park. Despite her age, there is nothing sweet or childlike about Eleanor, and Lowman refrains from portraying her that way. Lowman's voice and tone believably capture the too-mature-too-soon strength of a girl living a hard life. Malhotra has a rich, smooth delivery, and perfectly renders Park as he fluctuates between confidence and insecurity. Listeners of all ages will be able to enjoy this audio edition. Ages 13-up. A St. Martin's Griffin hardcover. (Feb.)? Nonfiction

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 June

Gr 9 Up--Eleanor, 15, is the new girl at school and bullied because she's overweight and dresses in a flamboyant manner. Park is a half-Korean boy who has lived in Omaha, Nebraska, all his life but still feels like an outsider. This is a story of first love, which very slowly builds from the first day Eleanor sits next to Park on the school bus. First they ignore each other, and then they slowly become friends through their love of comic books and 1980s alternative music. Park is the only good thing in Eleanor's life. Her home life is a miserable exercise in trying to stay out of her abusive stepfather's way, and finding new ways to wear the same clothes repeatedly since there is no money for anything extra. Park adores everything about Eleanor, and she finds refuge at his house after school with his understanding parents. Things finally explode at Eleanor's house and Eleanor and Park's relationship is truly tested. The narrative points of view alternate between Eleanor and Park, adding dimension to Rowell's story (St. Martin's Griffin, 2013), and narrators Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhtra competently voice the pair. Give this to teenage girls who crave romance.--Julie Paladino, East Chapel Hill High School, NC

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