Release Date: 12th April 2012
Edition: e-book, purchased
Other Titles by this Author: Attachments, Fangirl
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 mixed 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 and Park is funny, sad, shocking and true – an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.
For months and months I’ve been hearing how beautiful Eleanor and Park is and now I’m going to be telling people that too; it’s bittersweet and breath-taking.
The way that Eleanor and Park fall in love is wonderfully quiet and slow and soft and enchanting. It happens over comic books, bus rides, mix tapes and the best description of holding someone’s hand that I will ever read. I just, wow. Everything about it is so much more romantic and meaningful that insta-lust and screaming hormones. I could feel how their connection grew deeper every time they locked eyes. Every moment between them was a moment to be worshipped and I don’t think I’ve ever read a love story like that.
With background of opposing home lives, you wouldn’t think it could work, but oh it did. The description of Eleanor’s nasty, miserable and quietly poisonous ‘home’ made me feel slightly sick. The loneliness, the fear, the desperation. It broke my heart and made me feel sick. In comparison, park lives on a better street with parents who love him and provide for the family. A family born purely of love. It almost turned into a lesson of accepting people for who they are and not what they look like or come from; loving someone for that as well. I got rather emotional during the scenes where Park saw Eleanor in her gymsuit and when they were in the Camaro. Lots of Eleanor’s fears have been, and are, my own so it was hopeful and reassuring to see in a genre where a girl’s simultaneous self-consciousness and self-awareness about herself and her body is faced head on; it was wonderful.
There are so many more things I could say about Eleanor and Park, but I was honestly so caught up in the novel that I made barely any notes and I want you all to read and discover every word of it for yourself. I waited far too long to finally give in and read it, but I am so, so glad that I did.
I finished Eleanor and Park wrapped in a duvet with a heart all achey and fragile and the experience of having read a book that will stay with me for a long, long time.