by Rainbow Rowell
published: St. Martin's Press, 2013
Eleanor meets Park on her first day of school when he saves her from the nightmare that is the school bus. Despite the fact that they didn't talk, they manage to bond and form a relationship that is tested in every possible way. Eleanor is radiant and defiant and Park is observant and methodical and they are both gliding through life, flying under the radar. Will real life bring them together or tear them completely apart?
I absolutely could not put this book down. I was sucked in from the very beginning by the incredible characters. Eleanor and Park are enchantingly odd characters that you can't help but love.
My heart goes out to both Eleanor and Park for their different living situations, their joys and grievances. They each deal uniquely with hard situations and their relationship becomes their solace. The story being told is not only their love story but the story of their growth as people in an environment that isn't always nurturing.
I've been complaining lately about parents being almost nonexistent in books, but in this book not only are the parents present but they are vibrant and essential characters. They act like actual parents, which is so much better than shell parent characters. They give and deny permission, punish and reward based on behavior and they prove to be an essential part of this story.
The ending of this book is incredible, like mind shattering, dangerous and wonderful. There is so much tension and anxiety surrounding it and the actual ending is perfectly realistic and not at all wrapped nicely in a little bow. I think that's one of the reasons I love this book so much. It felt authentic like I was reading about someone's actual life.
Rainbow Rowell once again makes me feel very strongly about fictional characters in the best way. I love her writing and I love this story. I cannot wait to get my hands on more of her work.
"Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution maintains the novel's delicate balance of light and dark."
--Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship Eleanor and Park develop is urgent and breathtaking and, of course, heartbreaking, too."
An Alphabet Soup Challenge Book.
A 2015 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge book.