Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Eleanor & Park

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.
from goodreads.com

Beth says 5 Stars...
I'd been hearing about this book for a while and (luckily for me) Amazon lowered the price right around the end of the year, making it impossible for me to not buy it!  I'm so glad I did.  Although this isn't my typical book, I adored it.  It spoke to the eternal misfit kid that remembers going through high school.  It would have been amazing to have a Park on the bus with me, sharing music and other things.  Although there was an actual plot, it was very much secondary to the characters sharing their stories.  I quite liked how the narration switched between Eleanor and Park, giving insight into both sides of their relationship.  The changes at times could be quite quick, and I'm interested to see if there were any differences between the ebook I read and the physical copies.  Occasionally the perspective shifts happened in the middle of the page and, while always accompanied by a heading, they could get a touch confusing.  I couldn't put the book down, which is quite interesting because it isn't designed to be a heart-pounding page turner.  I simply got completely pulled into the world of the characters.

The characters are absolutely the heart and soul of the story.  I absolutely adored both Eleanor and Park.  They had delightfully different strengths and weaknesses that were on full display throughout the novel.  It was also wonderful to see their relationship develop slowly, in a way that felt natural.  No insta-love here.  It felt earned and worthy whenever something new would happen.  The supporing characters all had more than a quick mention, especially the various family members.  Park's parents were a fantastic combination, with all of the contradictions that make for deep characters.  I completely adored Park's mother.  Can we have a book about her, please?

This is a fantastic book for current teens or anyone who remembers what it was like to be a teen.  The characters feel real, the recreation of the '80s is absorbing (although I can't vouch for its authenticity), and the end will slam into you like a feelings train. 
ebook purchased


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