When Eleanor gets on the school bus her first day in a new school, no one wants to let her sit down. No one, that is, except Park, but he's not exactly happy about gaining a seat partner. They don't touch, they don't talk, and they hardly even look at each other at first...but then slowly they open up. They connect over comics and music, and begin to fall in love, despite all of the odds against them.
Eleanor & Park is one of the best YA romances I've read in ages, although defining the story as a "YA romance" seems awfully limiting. It's difficult to define just what this book is. It's a story about first love and misfits, about being brave and being afraid, about holding on and knowing when you have to let go. Eleanor is such a strong character, and is easily admired for her wit, integrity, and her resolve. Park is just as wonderful, with his capacity to love, his courage to stand up for Eleanor and their relationship, and his never-ending attempts to make sense out of a very messed up world. The chemistry between these two characters is incredible as they fall in love—Rowell makes hand holding and late-night conversations incredibly hot. Everything about this story is so magnetic, with an appropriate balance of life's harsh realities and all of the wonder and excitement of love. This near-perfect YA book will resonate with readers of all ages.
Cover Comments: I love the simplicity of this cover. It's pretty and eye-catching, but not overly girly. Perfect.
Book purchased at my local indie!