Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of Macmillan
Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley
The year is 1986 when we meet Eleanor and Park, two misfit high school students who find in one another everything missing in each of their lives. This is a story of an unlikely pair, of first love, of two teenagers trying to figure things out, of two teenagers that believe to the core of their souls that everything will be okay in the world as long as they have each other.
This is perhaps one of the most adorable love stories I have ever read. These kids are so out of place at their school, they each have stuff going on at home that is heartbreaking, yet what they find in one another is the unconditional love each is so desperate for. My heart was full to bursting as I read the story of how their barely-friendship turned into the kind of all-consuming love we all long for and hope to find.
Eleanor & Park is more complex and layered than your typical love story. Eleanor and Park deal with bullying, issues at home (including abuse), racism, and more. They are two kids who have to grow up over the course of the novel, both in love and in life. But what’s so beautiful is that they do this growing up together, as a couple, but also as individuals. It’s brilliant to read and by the end of the book, I was in tears and in awe at these two amazing kids. I loved them.
Eleanor & Park is such a winning combination of a great story, excellent and true characters, and pure heart that I couldn’t put this book down. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend this fantastic novel.