Summary from GoodReads:
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You 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.
Do you guys ever hear about a book that everyone is raving about? This book is getting amazing reviews, both professional and personal. Everything you hear about this book tells you it is something special. But, for whatever reason, you are hesitant to read it. You think that this book must surely be everything wonderful that people are saying, but you can’t help but think it just might not be your type of book. But you decide to give the book a try because of all the positive things being said about it, not expecting to like it.
Well, Eleanor and Park was that book for me. I was sure that it was as amazing as everyone said, but I just wasn’t sure it was for me. You guys, I am hear to say that I was SO INCREDIBLY WRONG! Eleanor and Park is such an amazing book. Even if you think Eleanor and Park isn’t for you, you need to give it a try regardless. Because, chances are, you will fall as much in love with these two teens as I did.
The focus of this book, is, of course, Eleanor and Park. Eleanor has not had a sunny life. She’s living with her mother, her four siblings, and her stepfather. Her stepfather is pretty much an awful human being, and Eleanor tries to avoid his attention at all costs. Oh, and to top it all off, Eleanor’s family is poor. I mean, not-being-able-to-buy-toothbrushes-poor. April from Good Books and Good Wine (her review) wonderfully explains how poor Eleanor’s family is. Eleanor is heavier than the other girls in school. It’s definitely something she’s insecure about, and her thoughts about herself are heartbreaking. But I can totally and completely understand her insecurities. Which girl hasn’t felt like that at some point.
And then there is Park. Wonderful, sweet Park. He’s not someone you would immediately swoon over, but what a mistake. Because he is such a wonderful boy. He’s not picked on at school, but he also isn’t exactly in with the in-crowd. Park has some issues with his father, but for the most part Park’s life is pretty good. It was amazing to see Park’s perceptions of Eleanor change as he got to know her. It was beautiful, and I really hope that is true of everyone. The more gets to know and care about Eleanor, the more he thinks she’s beautiful.
Reading how these two end up falling for each other is so freaking amazing. I can’t even. It’s slow, and realistic, and absolutely beautiful. There are so many passages I flagged to go back to, and that isn’t something I normally do, ever! Can I just say that I will never, ever think of handholding the same again! I mean, wow! It was almost more intimate than a kissing scene. If you’ve read it, I am sure you agree.
I did think the mad rush at the end was a little too quick, especially after the slow build throughout the rest of the book. But that is really the only thing I could wish improved, and really, it’s a small thing. Everything about this book was breathtaking. I couldn’t put it down, but I never wanted it to end. You all need to run out and read Eleanor and Park!