|Eleanor & Park
4 out of 5
"He'd stopped trying to bring her back"
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 several things about this book that makes it dear to my heart: it's set in the 80s, mentions lots of music and bands,and it is about intense high school love.
The love between Eleanor and Park is realistic and not sappy. They ride the same bus, she's new and weird and disadvantaged. He's genuine, kind and comes from a normal family. The narrative switches back and forth from her perspective and then his and it's cute to see how they both cannot understand why the other person is so into and attracted to them.
Eleanor feels fat and smelly and all Park can do is see her creamy skin and dote upon the location of her freckles and how she smells like vanilla. When Park decides to make a habit of wearing eyeliner; I loved it! I used to eat up boys who wore band tees and had dark eyes.
It really brought me back to the years when I was in high school and how I dealt with my obstacles; feeling trapped and helpless. It also captured the intense highs of finding a true love. It was nostalgic to see through the eyes of the two lovers as they discovered each others bodies; a series of momentous firsts.
I was sad the book ended when it did. It seemed like an abrupt departure from knowing these characters. What happens next?
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