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Publishers Weekly, 2013-04-29 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 (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-12-10 Half-Korean sophomore Park Sheridan is getting through high school by lying low, listening to the Smiths (it's 1986), reading Alan Moore's Watchmen comics, never raising his hand in class, and avoiding the kids he grew up with. Then new girl Eleanor gets on the bus. Tall, with bright red hair and a dress code all her own, she's an instant target. Too nice not to let her sit next to him, Park is alternately resentful and guilty for not being kinder to her. When he realizes she's reading his comics over his shoulder, a silent friendship is born. And slowly, tantalizingly, something more. Adult author Rowell (Attachments), making her YA debut, has a gift for showing what Eleanor and Park, who tell the story in alternating segments, like and admire about each other. Their love is believable and thrilling, but it isn't simple: Eleanor's family is broke, and her stepfather abuses her mother. When the situation turns dangerous, Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution-imperfect but believable-maintains the novel's delicate balance of light and dark. Ages 13-up. Agent: Christopher Schelling, Selectric Artists. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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