eleanor & park BY RAINBOW ROWELL (St. Martin’s Press, 2013)
Oh my gosh, what a great read! I heard some scuttlebutt about this book and ran out and bought it and I am so glad that I did. The story is about two teens – juniors in high school – who meet on the school bus. Park is Amer-Asian and kind of stays off by himself although he’s certainly not an outcast at school. Eleanor is a sad case – her mother has remarried and she chose one of the biggest losers out there. Richie is an alcoholic, he’s abusive, and Eleanor and her younger siblings are terrified of him. She pretty much lives in her room and avoids Richie completely but he goes out of his way to make her life hell. She’s a big girl and she dresses weirdly and her curly red hair couldn’t be more noticeable. She instantly becomes a target and finds herself badly bullied by the popular Tina at school. In fact, Park is the only one who relents and offers to share his seat on the bus. They say opposites attract and in Eleanor and Park’s case it turns out to be true. Their romance seems so realistic – he’s nervous, she’s nervous….but little by little they get to know one another. It’s wonderful. But then Eleanor figures out who has been writing those lewd and suggestive notes on her textbook cover and everything changes. This book is an amazing read and it stays with you when you’re finished. What is love, anyway, and is it forever?