Eleanor & Park

15745753Rating: 5 Bright Shining Stars
Published: April 2012
Genre: Young Adult // Romance
Favorite Quotes: (For the record, I could have quoted a good portion of this book as part of my favorites. But I didn’t. Therefore, you should just read the entire book.)

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly.  Or a heartbeat.  Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

“It made sense that Tina was in Eleanor’s gym class- because gym was an extension of hell, and Tina was definitely a demon.  A weird, miniature demon.  Like a toy demon.  Or a teacup.  And she had a whole gang of lesser demons, all dressed in matching gym suits.  Actually, everyone wore matching gym suits.”
“As soon as she said it, she broke into a smile. And when Eleanor smiled, something broke inside him. Something always did.”

Summary taken from Goodreads:

Two misfits.
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.

Oh Rainbow, Rainbow, Rainbow. Can I PLEASE be your friend? Or your writing buddy. Or your writing buddy friend. You take me away.  I am simply captivated by writing.

I actually have two editions of this book. One was a gift, the paperback UK, and the other is the Barnes & Noble exclusive collector’s edition and it’s signed!  I’m just going to gush for a second about the fan art on the collector’s edition- it’s so gorgeous!

I put off reading this for so long.  I was both afraid I wouldn’t like it and absolutely certain that I would love it.  I’m glad I waited until now because I needed this book at this time in my life.  I needed this book now.  I can relate so much to Eleanor’s body issues. It was refreshing to read some brutally honest writing about bodies.

Rainbow doesn’t only talk about body image, but about gender roles, too.  Eleanor frequently wears guys shirts (I can relate, I went through that phase) and Park likes to put on eyeliner.  It’s so refreshing.  Rainbow just openly talks about a lot of topics in her novels that aren’t generally talked about, especially in YA.

This book is just beautiful. It begs to be read.  I savored it.  It reminded me of my first love. I was falling in love with this story.  It doesn’t happen all the time but it hit me hard. The characters were brilliantly written. Be ready to have your heart broken. And put back together. And broken again. But it’s honestly so much more than the romance, I promise.  These characters face problems and identity issues. They struggle but they survive.

I actually think this book doesn’t need a long review. John Green’s comment on the cover pretty much says it all, “Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”

To sum up, just read it already! I can’t say enough good things.  If I kept going, this review would be one giant ramble so I’m cutting myself off from doing so. Just go read it!

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