Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Length: 328 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From: Oshkosh Public Library
Plot Basics: A pair of high school misfits are forced to sit next to each other on the bus ride to their Omaha high school. Eleanor is new and different than any girl in the school with her bright red hair. Park is a long time resident but half Korean, half American.
Their story is told in parallel and is beautifully sweet.
Banter Points: I never wanted this book to end. It was a beautiful. I am a romantic at heart (yes, this INTJ has a soft spot for pure beauty and weeps when she sees it. Also important to know, this is Stacie, not Bethany.) Park and Eleanor may be high school students, but I envy their ability to understand themselves and accept each other.
The story starts with them not liking each other. In fact, they both thought that the other was more than a little weird. Since the story switches back and forth, both are often relaying their side of the same events. I usually am annoyed by head hopping but this? I craved seeing what the other thought. It was like having two people tell you how they were falling in love. Only they didn’t care that you knew what they thought about the other not did they pester you to tell them.
This may have been a high school romance, but I hope that I fall in love like that some day.
Bummer Points: Eleanor faces some real harsh realities in her home life. Her family situation is less than stellar and has elements of abuse. Nothing major happened but parents who are seeing this one in their pre-teens hands are going to want to know that it’s part of the book.
Stacie’s Recommendation: Love it. Beautiful writing. Great character development. Meaningful head hopping. It’s a great read simply for the technical aspects.