Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.


There are so many things to love about this book. It's funny, the characters are endearing, it's sweet, it's heartbreaking, it's set in the 80's. I loved it. Eleanor and Park aren't your typical Romeo and Juliet. She's a little overweight, wears the wrong clothes, and comes from a broken home. He's half Asian, keeps to himself, and doesn't quite fit in. Their love story is teenage angst at its finest, but it's also real. Both characters have to deal with figuring out who they are, what they want, and both make mistakes along the way. 

This novel will have you laughing, crying, and wanting to watch your favorite "Brat Pack" movie. Although this book is billed as YA, it does deal with some heavy subject matter and does have some language that might be offensive to some. I was slightly concerned at the end of the book that the author was going to leave the story in a place that would have caused me to throw the book across the room in anger, but I'm happy to report that she worked it all out in the end. Although, the ending was not entirely satisfying and I am still dying to know what happens next to Eleanor and Park. 

2015 Reading Challenge: A book set in high school

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