Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
(St. Martin’s Press, 2012, 328 pages)
Eleanor is new in school and is unlike anyone else there. She wears weird clothes, has bright red hair, and just generally doesn’t seem like she fits in with anyone. Until she meets Park. Park has been going to the same school his whole life and although he is different than everyone else, everyone accepts him. Park and Eleanor start their relationship from their love of music, comic books, and a shared seat on the school bus. But the struggles they face between the bullying Eleanor faces at school, her horrible home situation, and Park’s reluctant acceptance of their relationship in front of others is what really bonds them.
This is the first book I’ve read of Rowell’s and I really enjoyed it. I liked the combination of everyday teen struggles such as Park being hesitant of his feelings because of what his peers will think and unthinkable circumstances such as what Eleanor faces every day at home. The slow buildup of Park and Eleanor’s relationship really pays off when Park becomes so sincere about his feelings for her and Eleanor gets more fearful about the relationship being pulled apart. This was a great read for both young adults and adults to breeze through.
You can also read Julia’s review of this title.