Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
Published February 26, 2013 by St. Martin’s Press
Where to start with this book… It was magical and heart breaking and beautiful and I just want to squeeze Park everyday forever. In the beginning Park doesn’t want anything to do with the new transfer Eleanor; he simply helps her out because he feels bad for her. Eleanor also happens to be an easy target for bullying for many reasons. She is overweight, has unruly red hair and dresses like a boy. She is who I wish I had the courage to be. Through all the bullying she stays true to herself to the very last page. Park helps Eleanor out on her first day by allowing her to sit next to him on the bus. They soon fall into a routine that involves no attempt at conversation. Then enter the X-Men and Watchmen and Batman and tons of other awesome comic book characters of the 80s. They begin discussing these comics and music and other 80s pop culture, which is just woven into the story perfectly. I thought this would turn out to be a semi-typical love story but it was so much more. Eleanor helps bring Park out of his shell and pushed him to be true to himself and Park is Eleanor’s savior on more than one occasion. The last few lines of this novel brought me to tears and made me feel so many emotions!
Park’s parents made such an impact on me. He can tell his mom is trying her hardest not to be judgmental and does learn to come around because she cares about her son’s happiness so much. And Park’s dad! At the beginning he is a bit of a hardass on Park but you find out he does have a soft spot.
Rainbow Rowell is a fabulous writer. Her writing is poetic and easy yet deep and compelling. This is her second novel and I will definitely be picking up her first novel (Attachments). She has a book coming out later in the year called Fangirl which I am very excited for!
Overall 5/5 stars.