Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Simple, Sweet, Adorable.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.
Despite its rather lackluster jacket copy, and although I’m approximately the 3 millionth person to say so:
Although it’s not preachy, I think this book should do more to stop bullying from those who read it than a thousand public service announcements, because it takes the reader into the mind and life of a victim of bullying. Even better, Eleanor isn’t a whiny victim–she’s very matter-of-fact about the horrible things that people do to her, because hey, this is her life. It makes those things even more heartbreaking to read.
Realistic Romance! Eleanor & Park’s relationship is so sweet and real that I actually put this on a recommendation at work: “If all romances were this realistic and well-written, nobody would put down the genre ever again.”
(Contemporary Realistic Superstars Rachel Cohn & David Levithan)
Few are the Contemporary Realistic YA novels I read, fewer still that I love wholeheartedly. This is one.
Again, I know that I’m probably…well, considering how long I’ve been sitting on this post, the 4 millionth person now…to say how wonderful and amazing and important this book is…but it’s still true. Also, I’m ashamed that people from my state successfully challenged this book & prevented Rowell from coming to speak here. I expected better from Minnesota! This book is honest, and if those parents think that their kids don’t hear worse things walking down the hallways of their high schools, they are mistaken. More than honest, it’s beautiful and has lots to say. I hope that the banning increases readership (as these things tend to do).
Borrowed from work. Probably would have bought, but the one copy we’ve gotten in so far was dust jacketless, and I like my books pretty.