Authors: Rainbow Rowell
Date Published: April 12, 2012
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true - an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.
This is a story set in Omaha, 1986 of two high school kids (16 years of age) who fell for each other. Eleanor is a fat redhead always wearing men's clothes (her dad's old clothes in particular). She has just transferred to a new town (her stepdad's), in a place called Flats. She rides the school bus to her new school for the first time and is met with bullying by her new schoolmates because she looks like a walking wreck with her drab looks (and she's fat).
They'd been totally ignoring each other for weeks until... Park noticed Eleanor also reading his comics when he has one open on the bus ride. Soon, he's been letting Eleanor read alongside him and found himself lending her his comic books, and making cassette tapes of his favorite music for her.
And that's how the magic began.
As an adult, I still feel like a kid only in an adult skin and I don't want to feel like a little kid again (unless I remember my first love… at 7 *giggles*). I tend to skip on middle-grade or high school books just so not to get that young feeling again. And then this book happened. It crashed on me and I was wrecked, with good reasons.
I had so much fun reading this book. It was funny and heart-wrenching at the same time. It reminds me of Wendelin van Draanen's middle grade romantic book, Flipped of the same he-said, she-said writing style, only written in the third-person perspective. You get to laugh so often and yet feel miserable for the girl's family circumstances.
The thing is, this book's way more wretched than Flipped. It's so much fun and yet, I can't help but feel so sad and I couldn't put down the book. This book won Goodread's Award 2013 for Young Adult Fiction and it's a much deserved win.