One extraordinary love.
Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
This has been one of the greatest books that I have read this year! I heard from a lot of people that it was a good book, but I honestly was just expecting the usual deal - attractive boy meets attractive girl, and they start a romance. I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff, but it’s always refreshing when I get something different but just as good - if not better. This is exactly what I got out of Eleanor and Park.
Basically, it starts with Park seeing Eleanor for the first time when she walks onto his bus and has nowhere to sit. He takes pity on her and invites her to sit with him on the bus, but makes his first impression by swearing at her and doesn't talk to her for the first couple of weeks that they sit together on the bus. Obviously, it wasn't the greatest first impression to make - and Eleanor wasn't making the best first impressions either, considering that the first words that everybody used to describe Eleanor when they first saw her was that she is “bigger” and “awkward.” Immediately I knew this wasn't going to be a regular romance. And it only gets better as you start to delve into their everyday lives. You see that there’s a lot more to them than just the outside look of both of them - especially with Eleanor.
Eleanor has a hard home life. It made me tear up about every time I had to read about her - it just broke my heart and opened my eyes so much. I realized, maybe deeper than I ever had before, that there are real people out there with situations like hers. And I think that it’s important to remember that people are more than just what they look like. Eleanor wore men’s clothes and did weird things with her hair, never wore makeup, and didn't act like a normal girl in really any way. But she didn’t have a choice in the matter, considering she couldn't afford better clothes, let alone makeup.
As for Park, he had the biggest heart. I haven’t read about such a kindhearted character in a long time, and it makes me want to be better myself, because Park was so sweet and thoughtful. I feel like serving everybody within a five mile radius right now!
As you all have probably already figured out, I’m a very character driven reader, so these two really made the book for me. But aside from characters, the writing was beautiful and real, as well as eye-opening. I feel like this book has changed me - and that is the best sort of feeling that you can take away from a book.
So should you read this book?
Two words: Heck. Yes.