Publisher’s Weekly: Q & A with Rainbow Rowell

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Publisher’s Weekly: Q & A with Rainbow Rowell :


Rainbow Rowell – yes, that is her real name – is having a good couple of years. Her adult debut, Attachments, came out in 2011; her YA debut, Eleanor & Park (St. Martin’s Griffin, Feb.), hits stores soon, and a second young adult novel is due out this fall. She spoke with PW by phone from her home in Omaha – where Eleanor & Park, a love story about two outsiders, is set – about realistic romance, the power of music, and not being precious about writing.

Read more.

This is a really good interview with Rainbow Rowell about Eleanor & Park. And yeah; I’m reading it again already. So good. The thing that gets me is how authentic the central relationship is. It puts me right back in the fall of 1979, when I was figuring this stuff out for the first time.

I like her mention of Park’s dad in the interview. I really related to his character. He gets a couple of really great moments.

Go read this! Read it now! I need more people to squee with.

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I reviewed the extraordinary new novel ELEANOR AND PARK in the New York Times Book Review

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

I reviewed the extraordinary new novel ELEANOR AND PARK in the New York Times Book Review:


If you read a lot, you can get jaded. You can forget how a reader has to be generous to a book as much as a book has to be generous to its reader. You feel like maybe everything worth doing has been done, and nothing will ever blow you away ever again.

And then you read a book like Eleanor and Park, and you are shocked out of your complacency and grateful to be alive. As you can tell from my review in the New York Times Book Review, I really love this book. Months later, I’m still thinking about it.

You’re gonna love it, too. Read it. 

You can find it at indiebound, or, or amazon.

I came to YA fiction in a roundabout fashion. My daughter watched vlogbrothers more or less from the outset, apparently, but she never shared with me about it (at least, not that I remember). I heard about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries from being a borderline period-drama obsessive, and that led me to Hank Green, and that led me to John Green, and that led me to reading The Fault in Our Stars, and that, as most of you knew long before I did, led me to awesomeness.

So I had no reason to doubt that John Green’s glowing review of Eleanor & Park was worth taking at face value. I bought the ebook edition yesterday, and started reading it last night at bedtime. Two hours later it was only my promise to the long-suffering person who’s shared a bed with me for the last several decades (who has to endure my transformation into the snoring he-beast when I stay up late) that forced me to set it down, and as soon as light through yonder window broke I was back at it, and I’ve now finished.

And oh my god, that book is awesome.

It doesn’t seem especially likely that there’s anyone reading this who 1) isn’t swayed by John Green’s opinion and 2) would be swayed by mine. But just in case: This book is breathtakingly good, and beautiful, and wonderful. Please go read it. Because I want to discuss it with someone, especially someone smart and more familiar than I am with YA, because I’m really curious about some of the choices Rainbow Rowell made toward the end of it, and would appreciate additional perspective on that.

But just go read it.

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