Book for October 2016
The critical reception for the book has been mostly positive. Kirkus Reviews said: "Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike." Author John Green said Eleanor & Park "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."
The American Library Association gave the book a 2014 Michael L. Printz Award Honor book for excellence in young adult literature. Calling Eleanor & Park "an honest, heart-wrenching portrayal of imperfect but unforgettable love," The Boston Globe and The Horn Book Magazine presented Rowell the 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for fiction. The New York Times Book Review named it one of seven Notable Children's Books of 2013. NPR said Eleanor & Park "captures the pure, visceral thrill of a high school swoon, but it never forgets that those feelings are real and important" in naming the book to its list of the Best Books of 2013. The Association for Library Service to Children, the Young Adult Library Services Association and Booklist recognized the audiobook version of Eleanor & Park with a 2014 Odyssey Honor.
Rowell was a columnist and ad copywriter at the Omaha World-Herald from 1995 to 2012.
After leaving the Omaha World Herald, Rowell began working for an ad agency and writing what would become her first published novel, Attachments, as a pastime. Rowell had a baby during this period and stopped working on the manuscript for two years. The novel, a contemporary romantic comedy about a company's IT guy who falls in love with a woman whose email he has been monitoring, was published in 2011. Kirkus Reviews listed it as one of the outstanding debuts that year.
In 2011, Rowell completed the first draft of her young adult novel Fangirl for National Novel Writing Month.
In 2013, Rowell published Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, another young adult novel. Both were named by The New York Times as among the best young adult fiction of the year. Eleanor & Park was also chosen by Amazon as one of the 10 best books of 2013, and as Goodreads' best young adult fiction of the year. DreamWorks and Carla Hacken are planning a movie based on the novel, for which Rowell has been asked to write the screenplay.