Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

15745753Title: Eleanor & Park
Series:
Standalone
Author:
Rainbow Rowell
Category:
Young Adult
Rating: 5

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.

MY REVIEW

“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.”

1986. The Space Shuttle Columbia is launched. Voyager 2 makes its first encounter with Uranus. Eleanor, an overweight redhead steps onto a school bus and sits next to Park Sheridan.

Park is a half Korean boy who lives a fairly nice life, with two loving parents and doesn’t know what its like to go to bed hungry or share his bedroom. Eleanor Douglas shares her room with her three brothers and younger sister, living in a highly dysfunctional family in a small, run down home with no bathroom door.

While these two may live within walking distance of another, they come from different words. From the moment Eleanor stepped on the school bus for the first time, she was already an outsider, with her flaming red hair and odd thrift store clothes. When no one offers her a seat, Park angrily tells her to sit down next to him, and proceeds to ignore her for the duration of the trip. For days and weeks, the two ignores each’s existence despite sitting six inches from one another to and fro. One day, Park catches her reading his comics over his shoulder, and begins to lend her his comics. They bond over music, with Park making mixtapes for Eleanor to listen to. Eventually, they even begin holding hands on the bus.

That’s whats so great about this novel – there isn’t some insta-love between the characters that you find in your typical high school romance novels. These flawed characters are very much opposites and over time, develop an reluctant friendship that eventually leads to love. And even then, everything is not all lovey-dovey and cutesy, and the two fight and argue a lot and kiss and makeup, just like almost any other teenage couple.

Overall, I liked this, even if it didn’t have more plot than two teenagers falling in love despite all their differences and the world trying to keep them apart. If you’re looking for a realistic romance of high school and first love, look no further.

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