Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.
I absolutely adored this book, and I'd say it's one of my favorite books that I've read. I read it in a time span of less than 24 hours. I didn't read it quickly because I wanted to be over, but because I loved it so much that I couldn't put it down. Everything about this book was amazing. My favorite narrative style is 1st person, but I still loved this book's 3rd person narration. I checked this out from the library, but I loved it so much that I'll probably end up buying a copy at some point.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
The main female character in this story is Eleanor. The story opens up with her coming to live with her mom, stepdad, and siblings again. Her stepdad had kicked out a year before, and since then, the family had moved, and her mom just invited her back to live with them. She doesn't have a good life at home with them because her stepdad is an awful man. He is controlling and abusive to her mom. They don't have many household items, like a phone or even a toothbrush. Eleanor also has to deal with bullying at school for the way she looks and dresses. Basically, her life isn't very good at all at the beginning of this book.
Park is the main male character. He is different from others in his town because he is biracial, but he doesn't get bullied by the other kids often. He just flies under the radar and escapes the notice of many of his classmates. He has a good home life, though his family has their problems. His parents are very in love with each other. Park doesn't really have a good relationship with his brother. Park's father sometimes doesn't like Park's weaknesses, and he picks on him for them. He sees the brother, Josh, as being stronger than Park. But, overall, both his parents love him and care about his well-being.
The romance of this book is central in the book, though being one that develops slowly. This is one of the best romances that I have ever read. Eleanor and Park are perfect for each other. At the beginning of the book, neither of them like the other. They sit next to each other on the bus every day without saying a word. One day, Park notices that Eleanor is reading his comics over his shoulder, and he soon brings some for her and leaves them on her bus seat. Soon, he starts to share music with her too. They become friends, and this relationship slowly progresses as they fall in love. I thought this was such a sweet romance, and I adored it so much.
If you like YA contemporary romance, read this book.