Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, headin a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night coversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose. From the blurb.
So many people were raving about this book, I had to give it a go myself. And I am so glad I did. I fell in love with the story and the characters as Eleanor and Park fell in love with each other.
Eleanor and Park is completely beautiful. Set in 1986 and full of retro pop culture references, it's a book I want to share with everyone. It's a story full of the sweet tenderness of first love, full of innocence, when simply holding hands was such a big deal. Is a big reminder to appreciate the small things, but also helps you remember the tiny moments of your own romances, the ones full of sweetness. I am completely aware of what a sap I sound, but I don't think a single person could read this book and not have their heart melted.
Eleanor and Park also tackles several serious issues. Both characters have problems with their body image; Eleanor is a bigger girl, and doesn't think she's attractive, and Park is half Korean, and is aware that his Asian looks cause him to stand out. The story also covers issues of bullying, poverty and domestic abuse. Sometimes it can be a little hard hitting, especially when it comes to the domestic abuse, but none of it overshadows the beauty of the romance.
Because it's the 80s, for our young couple, entertainment comes in the form of comics and music, specifically mix tapes. The two strike up a friendship by sharing the two with the other. They bond between the pages and the riffs. I love their geekiness, and how their love grows is just so cute and adorable.
Eleanor and Park is such a beautiful, beautiful story, and I now want to read everything else Rowell writes. With just this one book, I am such a fan! Cannot recommend this novel enough, it's right up their with my favourites! I will leave you with what might be the most beautiful quote I've ever read:
'The me that's me right now is yours. Always.' (p312)Thank you to Orion for the review copy.
Published: 28th February 2013
Rainbow Rowell's Website