Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: Feb 26 / 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I'm not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we're 16."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused, then dead."
"I love you," Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I'm not kidding," he says.
"You should be."
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.
Eleanor & Park is something I've wanted to read for a long time but never picked up. Oh, what a mistake that was! This is possibly the cutest and most romantic contemporary I've ever read! It's really realistic and it made me sympathize a lot with the characters. It made me cheer them on and quickly flipping the pages to see what happened next.
So this book is about a half-Asian boy named Park and a weird girl named Eleanor. What I liked best about the book are the characters. Usually in YA, you always have this hunky sexy guy and this pretty-but-thinks-she-isn't-pretty girl. That's not the case at all here. Park is the insecure half-Asian boy who's sweet and thinks he's not good-looking. Eleanor is the fat self-doubting girl who always has weird outfits. They don't fit into school at all, yet they come together and are just perfect for each other.
What I learned from this: First love is truly awkward. I'm still fourteen and haven't had my first love so I wouldn't know. But from this book, eh.. really awkward. They were never sure what to do and took tiny baby steps to build their relationship. Eleanor was so happy with just the hand holding that she could forget about all the bad things that was happening to her (I admit, I was squealing too...). They went through mistakes and learned how to build their relationship again step by step. It made the romance realistic and made me feel like that's the kind of relationship I want one day.
Eleanor & Park isn't the kind of romance book you see in YA these days. That's why it's got such high praises from me. I feel like I can't say enough good things about this one because you need to read it yourself to experience the book to the full extent. The whole book was sweet and I think the characters found themselves through their relationship. They found out what love meant and that love can carry them through any hardships they might have. I would encourage everyone to read Eleanor & Park as it is the kind of book that just makes my heart warm up (and make me die a little on the inside.)