Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.
Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.
“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”
I don't know what I expected from this book, but what I got was something so unlike anything I've ever read. I fell in love with Eleanor & Park as characters. It took me awhile to like Eleanor. She was an infuriating character but so very real at the same time. They both had my heart by the end of the book. I feel like my heart is stuck in the pages of this book. Their relationship is so pure; they're each others best friends but sometimes they cause so much trouble for themselves. I found myself willing them through the book. The fact that they both had such different home lives definitely made for an interesting read; it constantly kept me on my toes. I didn't know how Eleanor's step father was going to react to anything. I felt on edge for her. The same goes for Park's father, although Park definitely got the better side of the deal.
“I don't like you. Sometimes I think I live for you. I don't think I even breathe when we're not together.”
There are some pretty hefty twists and turns in this book. Eleanor & Park deals with it's fair share of dark issues; bullying, abuse, familial issues, things that so many teens go through daily. I'm glad something like this was included in the book. It made it so much more than a YA Romance; it gave the book depth and it is overwhelming with the amount of emotions that it makes you feel. I couldn't put it down at all. I was completely captivated by Rowell's world and I wasn't ready to let go. I wish there was more to this story. I need more Eleanor & Park in my life. They seem like such real people. People that we were all in school with - or still are! I wish I hadn't waited so long to read this book. I am now one of the hypers behind the hype of Eleanor & Park. You must read this book if you've yet to pick it up - you won't regret it!