Published by St. Martin's Press on 2/26/2013
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell caught my eye awhile ago when I kept seeing it pop up on “best of” lists. Recently I read an article about censorship that mentioned that a few months ago, the author was uninvited to speak at a school in Minnesota after a group of parents decided that the book was “dangerously obscene” and insisted that it be removed from the school library. Well, that did it – I had to read it immediately. Spoiler alert – I didn’t find anything dangerously obscene in these pages! What I did find was a touching and realistic story about two misfits falling in love for the first time. The story takes place over a school year in 1986, and alternates between the points of view of the two main characters. Eleanor is the new kid in school and she’s different – chubby with bright red hair, wears weird clothes, and has a nightmare of a family life. In other words, she’s a very easy target for the kids at school. Park is on the fringe of the popular crowd, even though he doesn’t really feel like he belongs there. The two meet on the school bus, and their friendship slowly begins without any words. Park shares his comic books with her, and when they eventually do start talking, he makes her mix tapes and gives her batteries for her Walkman. Their unlikely friendship gradually leads to head-over-heels, can’t-think-about-anything-else, all-consuming love.
“Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”—John Green, The New York Times Book Review
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.\r\nSo did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.\r\nI’m not kidding, he says.\r\nYou should be, she says, we’re 16.\r\nWhat about Romeo and Juliet?\r\nShallow, confused, then dead.\r\nI love you, Park says.\r\nWherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.\r\nI’m not kidding, he says.\r\nYou should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this 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.
Eleanor & Park is the winner of the 2013 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Fiction Book.\r\nA Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013\r\nA New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013\r\nA Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013\r\nAn NPR Best Book of 2013
I admit, I am not typically a fan of the romance genre. But I couldn’t resist this book – I felt like I was reading a great 80’s movie, complete with witty banter and a great soundtrack.
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