by Rainbow Rowell
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Publication Date: February 26th 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
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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. (Goodreads)
I absolutely love that the main character in the story. Eleanor is so very far from perfect. She’s not slim and popular, and her home life is anything but normal. The reader absolutely has to feel bad for everything that she has been through in her young life. But I love Eleanor so much. She really is like no other character that I have ever met in a YA book. Park was so very sweet, and just as awkward as Eleanor was. He had a really great sense of humor, and was very swoon-worthy at times. I absolutely love this relationship between these two rare characters. You wouldn’t think it in the beginning, but Eleanor and Park are SO perfect for each other. Since the author chose to tell the story from both characters point of view, I was able to feel exactly what both characters were going through. They came from such different lives, and their perspectives on the world were so very different, yet they still have so much in common as well. Together they made their relationship work the best way they could.
Can I also mention a few characters that I absolutely hate? The most being Eleanor’s stepdad? What a freaking joke! As for her mom… get it together, lady! This is your daughter you’re messing with! Ugh. These are the types of parents in YA that I really want to smack upside the head. It was so very disappointing.
I have really mixed emotions about the end of the book. It just felt really brief. I wanted to know more about what happened with Eleanor, and with her family as well. Who was bullying her at school? WHAT DID THE POSTCARD SAY? (I’ve got a guess about what was on it, but I’m not 100% sure about it.) What did the future hold for Eleanor and Park? I NEED TO KNOW MORE!
Overall, this was my first Rainbow Rowell read, but it definitely won’t be my last! I can’t wait to checkout Fangirl next! If you’re a fan of contemporary novels, you’re definitely going to love Eleanor & Park.