Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Rating: 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.
Devastatingly beautiful and heartbreaking. Eleanor & Park will be sure to warm even the coldest of hearts and touch the lives of everyone who reads it.
Why, oh why did I wait so long to read this book! Please excuse the incoherence in this review because even after finishing it couple of weeks ago I can't seem to come off the whirlwind that Eleanor & Park put me on.
Eleanor has led a tough life. She wears her individuality as a shield to protect herself from others harmful comments and from letting them get too close. Somehow through comic books, mix tapes, and bus rides Park slips around that shield and it starts to crack just a little. At first I wasn't really a fan of Eleanor. She was brash and stand-offish, but the more I came to know her and her situation the more I just wanted to rescue her and her siblings (who I actually was not fans of either, but that didn't stop me from caring about them).
Eleanor and Park's relationship was so cute. They had some rough patches but the best thing was that they brought out the light in each other. They were people who shouldn't hide, but instead let their individuality shine. While there were many adorable scenes between these two, this book was hard to read. It wasn't Rainbow Rowell's writing or anything like that, the subject matter was tough. I found my heart hurting and wanting to escape from the story and yet I couldn't put the book down. I had become attached to these people and their story and I couldn't leave them until the end. (Little did I know they would stick with me long after I turned the last page).
The characters and the situations in Eleanor & Park were very realistic and that is what makes it the book that so many people love. It showed that sometimes life doesn't even hand you lemons, instead it takes everything and you have to somehow go on when there is nothing left. It showed that sometimes you have to grow up before you are ready and know that the horrible thief that stole your childhood would never be caught and punished. But it also showed hope and kindness -- and love.
Eleanor & Park will blow you away...seriously just go read this book.