You killed me Rainbow Rowell, completely killed me with this book. It was fun and light hearted and deeply sad and broke my heart and made me laugh. I felt a plethora of emotions and it is completely your fault. The story of Eleanor and Park was magical and real and deeply emotional. Did I cry? No, but I did feel all the feels because really, there is no way you can’t.
Eleanor & Park is a story about 2 teenagers in 1986. Eleanor is the new girl, and everyone makes sure she remembers it when she arrives on the bus to school on her first day. Tormented by the kids on the bus she finds herself sharing a seat with Park, a kid that seems to keep to himself. Angered at first that he has to share his sit with this crazy new girl Park plans to ignore her and go on with his life as a misfit that still manages to fit in. But as the school year draws on, Eleanor and Park can help but lean on each other and become something neither one expected…love.
Gah, it still breaks my heart thinking about these two poor kids. And that right there says something. That says that these are two fantastic characters if I’m still sad about their circumstances and how things played out. And I think that is why Rowell is getting all the accolades she has been about this book. And honestly, she deserves them. Eleanor and Park are fantastic characters and they are the reason this book is such a success with just about everyone that reads it, if not everyone. Because the thing about these two teens are how real they are. How you feel what they feel. How it brings you back to that feeling of first love, of having a crush, of not knowing how to act or what to say or what to do. Here you have these two people that are just so opposite of each other in almost every way from their appearances, to their clothing choices, to their home lives, and yet they find each other and something just fits no matter how much they tried to pretend it didn’t. And watching them navigate though not only typical teen problems, but deep problems at home really got to me as a reader.
Rowell managed to pull me in with page one and never let go. I took this journey with these characters and never looked back and I would do it again even knowing how much emotions it touches. For those of you that have heard of this book and are scared to read it because of all the chatter about it, you my friend are missing out.