This was a heart-wrenching, beautiful gem of a book. Park isn’t one of the popular guys, but he’s not stuck at the bottom either. He coasts, thanks to kids like Eleanor–awkward, picked on, the lowly of the high school food chain. But on Eleanor’s first day, Park takes pity on her when she can’t find a seat on the bus, telling her to sit with him. Each day she reads his comics over his shoulder. One day he lends her a few copies. And so begins the most unlikely of love stories.
I loved everything about this book. Both Eleanor & Park have well-developed characters and home lives. Eleanor’s is downright terrifying (an abusive, dangerous step-father; barely enough food to get by; a tiny room shared with her four siblings). Park on the other hand faces on over-bearing father who he always seems to disappoint. The relationship that blooms between Eleanor and Park feels so darn real. I had butterflies from a hand-holding scene. Yes, hand-holding. I was swooning like they’d just kissed after months of tension and near-misses. And while the love quickly goes into I’d do anything for you, I swear it land, this, too, felt real. It made me remember what it was like to be a teen. To fall in love and to fall hard. To only be able to see that one person. And the ending! One of the best, ambiguous closing lines ever. If you’re looking for a fantastic contemporary, pick this up. (It’s set in 1986, but it’s themes are as timely as ever.)
Originally posted here