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15 EXCITING Books Like Eleanor and Park

Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by Louisa

If you love a romance story that keeps you flipping page after page and leaves you wiping your eyes at the end, then you’ve probably picked up Eleanor and Park.

Rainbow Rowell’s critically acclaimed novel tackles themes like bullying, domestic violence, and fitting in while also exploring the realm of teenage love in an honest and realistic way.

If you just finished the heart-melting story of Eleanor and Park, you are probably looking for something else to fill the void.

Luckily, I’ve got just what you need! Here’s a list of books like Eleanor and Park for those looking to get wrapped in a similar young adult romance.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through any of these links. 

Quick Answer: 3 Best Books Like Eleanor And Park!

Need a book fast but don’t have much time? Here are my top three recommendations!

Our Favourites!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  • New York Times bestseller
  • Turned into a feature film starring Emma Watson
  • A delightful coming-of-age story

Anna and the French Kiss

#2 Best in Romance

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  • ALA Winner for Best YA Fiction in 2012
  • A sweet romance story about a girl who falls for another boy while studying in Paris
  • International bestseller

Fangirl: A Novel

#3 Best in Young Adult

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

  • Winner of a Gold Inky in 2015
  • New York Times Notable Children’s Books in 2013
  • A sweet college romance novel

Summary of Eleanor and Park

Before I share my similar books to Eleanor and Park, here’s a quick recap of the story so you can familiarize yourself with the themes that may come up in other books.

The story follows Eleanor who is the new girl in town, and her wild red hair and patchwork ensembles are making it difficult for her to fit in.

She finds herself on the bus next to Park, whose passion for comic books contrasts with the rest of his family’s love of sports.

Every day, they sit in awkward silence until Park discovers Eleanor reading his comics over his shoulder; he begins to push them closer to her side of the bench, and so their love story begins.

Their relationship grows gradually until they both find themselves looking forward to the bus ride more than any other part of the day.

But things aren’t as easy as they seem. Eleanor is bullied at school and then goes home to a threatening family situation; Park’s parents do not approve of Eleanor’s awkward ways.

This is the story of two star-crossed misfits who are wise enough to realize that first love nearly never lasts, but bold and desperate enough to try, nonetheless.

Related Reading: The Best Eleanor and Park Quotes

Acclaimed Books Like Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park is one of those stories that is always being recommended. If you’re looking for more critically acclaimed (and somewhat controversial) books similar to Eleanor and Park, then check these out!

1. Looking For Alaska – John Green

Miles Halter is on a quest to find something more in life. His obsession with famous last words has become his driving force.

Unsatisfied with his monotonous existence, he enrolls at a boarding school with the hopes of experiencing a “Great Perhaps.”

Upon arrival, Miles meets Alaska Young, whose unpredictable, self-destructive nature draws him in.

The two become best friends, along with Chip “Colonel” Martin, and enjoy many wonderful experiences at Culver Creek Boarding School.

As their friendship deepens, tragedy strikes and Miles is forced to confront his own mortality. He learns to live and love wholeheartedly, valuing the precious moments in life.

With themes of friendship, love, and the pursuit of a deeper meaning in life, this clean romance novel will leave a lasting impression.

Don’t miss out on this compelling story of best friends bound by adventure and the realities of life.

2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

Lara Jean harbors her crushes secretly, writing heartfelt letters to each boy and storing them in a box beneath her bed.

The letters are never meant to be seen, serving only as a therapeutic outlet for her feelings and thoughts.

But one day, Lara Jean discovers that her secret box of letters has been sent out, revealing her innermost desires to all five of her past crushes.

As her love life spirals out of control, Lara Jean must navigate the aftermath of her newfound visibility and confront each of her past loves.

Through this journey of self-discovery and emotional maturity, Lara Jean learns to accept the consequences of her actions and embrace the possibilities of what her letters may bring.

Follow her in this captivating novel as she faces her fears and learns the power of honesty and vulnerability.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Charlie, a timid teenager who’s on the outside looking in, finds companionship with two charismatic characters – Sam and Patrick. With their help, he learns how to open up to the wonders of friendship, love, and music.

But as his newfound confidence grows, so does the underlying pain that threatens to overwhelm him when his pals are about to graduate high school.

This heart-touching coming-of-age story offers insight into what it’s like being a teenage outsider as Charlie is forced to grapple with difficult questions from those around him.

Perks of Being a Wallflower has received many accolades such as the ALA Best Books for Young Adults in 2000 and saw its popularity skyrocket with the movie adaptation before entering the New York Times bestseller list.

Related Reading: Books Like Perks of Being a Wallflower

4. All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

If you liked Eleanor and Park, then you need to read this book. All the Bright Places is a story of two young people trying to deal, in completely different ways, with two different types of suffering.

Death fascinates Theodore Finch. Every day he thinks of ways he might kill himself, but every day he also searches for —and finds—something to keep him here, alive, and awake.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting down the days until graduation when she will be able to escape her small Indiana town and the agony of her sister’s recent death.

It’s unclear who saves who when Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, six stories above the ground.

It’s only with Violet that Finch is able to be himself. And it is only with Finch that Violet can stop counting the days and begin living them.

It’s about finding joy and hope and disappointment and despair and handling them with humor and insight.

5. Twilight – Stephanie Miller

Want something similar but with more paranormal elements? Then Twilight is one of my favorite young adult books like Eleanor and Park that has a supernatural twist.

Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, Washington, may have been the most boring decision she ever made. But Bella’s life takes a fascinating and dangerous turn when she meets the mysterious and captivating Edward Cullen.

Until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity hidden in the tiny town where he lives.

But when a rival gang of vampires shows up in town, suddenly no one is safe, even Bella, the person Edward loves the most.

The lovers are perched perilously on the edge of a knife, caught between passion and danger, as they fight to protect themselves and the ones they love.

This is one of the most iconic vampire romance books of all time.

Romance Books Like Eleanor and Park

Okay, we all love a good romance, so if that’s why you fell for this book, then you’re probably looking for more like it.

Here are some of the best romance books similar to Eleanor and Park.

6. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Me Before You is a heartbreakingly romantic tale that questions, “What do you do when making the person you love happy also means destroying your own heart?” It is ideal for fans who are looking for more novels like Eleanor and Park.

Louisa Clark is an average girl living an ordinary life who has scarcely ventured outside their little community.

She accepts a much-needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is confined to a wheelchair following an injury.

Will has always had a big life—large deals, intense sports, and international travel—and now he’s very confident he can’t keep it up.

Will is caustic, temperamental, and bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him like a child, and his happiness becomes more important to her than she thought.

When she discovers that Will has his own unexpected intentions, she sets out to persuade him that life is still worth living.

7. P.S. I Still Love You – Jenny Han

A sweet, young adult romance that has a teen romance like Eleanor and Park is P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han.

The story follows Lara Jean who had not expected to fall in love with Peter.  She and Peter were only acting. Except they weren’t anymore.

When another boy from her past reemerges in her life Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too, and now, she is more confused than ever. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

Lara Jean still has letters to send and much more to lose when it comes to love in this widely anticipated sequel To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

If You liked Eleanor and Park for the romance, this is definitely a series to pick up.

8. Anna and The French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

Another sweet teen romance book that fans of Eleanor and Park will love for the cute, young romance is Anna and The French Kiss.

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a terrific job, a devoted best friend, and a crush that is about to become more. So, she is dismayed when her father abruptly sends her to a boarding school in Paris.

That is until she meets the perfect boy, Étienne St. Clair. Étienne has it all: intelligence, charisma, and beauty. The only issue? He’s already taken, and Anna could be as well if anything happens with her crush back home.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Anna and the French Kiss was the 2012 winner of the American Library Association (ALA) award for Best Fiction for Young Adults.

9. The Sun Is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon

If you enjoyed Eleanor and Park because of the opposites attracting elements, then you might be intrigued by The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon which is about two people from differing cultures falling in love.

Natasha is being deported back to Jamaica today. She’s being deported because her father made a mistake.

Daniel is on the path that his parents want. Go to Yale, become a doctor, and marry a nice Korean girl. But Daniel would rather be a poet.

He decides to let the wind take him where it will before his interview for Yale. The wind blows him toward Natasha.

It seems as if the stars and fate align to bring Natasha and Daniel. Natasha has worked hard to carve a successful future for herself.

She just wants the same opportunities as her friends in the only country she’s known and which she calls home.

Will she be able to get the help she needs to overcome the judge’s decision?

10. The Beginning of Everything – Robyn Schneider

Want another romance novel that’s full of teenage angst and high school stereotypes? Then The Beginning of Everything is for you.

Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be the homecoming king.

But that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

Cassidy Thorpe is intelligent, beautiful, mischievous, and a legendary debate competitor at a rival high school. That is before she transferred to Ezra’s school. Now, they are on the same team.

Cassidy forces Ezra to embrace who he really is. And as the pair’s friendship turns into romance, Ezra realizes that Cassidy is the type of girl he has been looking for all along.

Until the relationship suddenly sours for reasons he can’t understand.

This is a great read for anyone looking for a light angst romance novel.

Young Adult Books Like Eleanor and Park

Sometimes, it’s the themes of a book that really draw us in. If that’s the case for you, then you’ll love these young adult books like Eleanor and Park.

11. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

If you’re looking for books similar to Eleanor and Park, then you are sure to love this novel because it’s written by the same author.

The life of a Fangirl is a hard one and Cath knows well just how hard it can be.

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin, Wren, have been following the Simon Snow series since they were just kids.

But now that they are starting college is changing everything. And Starting college without her twin sister whom she has always shared a room with is an even bigger change. To top that, Cath’s roommate doesn’t seem all that friendly.

Cath just misses how things used to be. But can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

12. The Spectacular Now – Tim Tharp

Want something a little more young adult than Eleanor and Park? How about a romance book set in college?

The Spectacular Now follows Sutter Keely who isn’t exactly an academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living.

But he is the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. 

When he wakes up one morning on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee, everything starts to change.

Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutter to show Aimee a fabulous time and then let her go forth and prosper.

But before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, Sutter has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

13. Anatomy of a Misfit – Andres Portes

If you enjoyed Eleanor and Park because the main protagonist is an outcast, then you’re going to enjoy Anatomy of a Misfit by Andres Portes.

Anika Dragomir is Pound High School’s third most popular student. On the exterior, she appears to be a glamorous diva, but on the inside, she is a total mess.

However, she keeps up her lip gloss persona so that Becky Vilhauer, the most popular girl in school, doesn’t ruin her social life.

So when Logan McDonough, a former loner, appears one September, hotter, sharper, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. Logan is intriguing, troubled, and forbidden.

If Anika is spotted with him, the Pound High queen bee will make her life miserable.

So Anika must choose—ignore her feelings and keep her social status? Or follow her heart and risk becoming a pariah. Which will she pick?

14. Wonder – R.J. Palacio

Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking and revealing young adult books out there is Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

August “Auggie” Pullman is a home-schooled fifth-grader who lives with his parents in Upper Manhattan’s North River Heights.

He has a genetic condition, Treacher Collins syndrome, which has left his face disfigured. As a result, August is being home-schooled by his mother.

His parents, however, enrolled him in Beecher Prep at the start of fifth grade in order to offer him a broader perspective of the world.

Auggie simply wants to be treated like any other kid. However, August is dealing with a lot more than just being new. Will he make any new friends?  And can others around him learn to look past his outward appearance?

Just like Eleanor and Park, Wonder has thought-provoking themes and messages that make you think deeper about life and relationships.

15. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Exploring themes of teen romance and fitting in, Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a great next read for those looking for books similar to Eleanor and Park.

Simon Spier, sixteen and not-so-openly gay, wants to reserve his drama for the school musical.

But when an email gets into the wrong hands, his secret might be exposed. Worse, the privacy of the boy he’s been emailing with will be jeopardized.

Now Simon must find a way to leave his comfort zone before being pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or squandering a chance at happiness with the most perplexing, charming boy he’s ever encountered.

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Final Thoughts on Best Books Similar to Eleanor and Park

So, there you have it, those are my top Eleanor and Park similar books.

From the critically acclaimed to the heart-wrenchingly romantic, you’re sure to find something that will match your tastes.

Did I miss a recommendation you think belongs on this list? Let me know in the comments!

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About Louisa Smith

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the Founder, Editor, and Head Honcho of Epic Book Society. She was born and raised in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University for the Creative Arts with a degree in Journalism. Louisa began her writing career at the age of 7 when her poetry was published in an anthology of poems to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. Upon graduating university, she spent several years working as a journalist writing about books before transitioning to become a Primary School Teacher. Louisa loves all genres of books, but her favorites are Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, and Young Adult Fiction. Read more Louisa's story here.

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