My review: 5 of 5 stars
Do you remember your first love? The intensity? The drama? The obsession? Eleanor and Park is the story of two misfit teens who grow to love each other almost accidentally. Their love for each other becomes a living, breathing thing that consumes, confuses, frustrates, and connects them both. Set in 1986 complete with Walkmans, ’80’s music, movies, books and other authentic references, this romance is more than just a romance. It is friendship; it is being a teenager in high school; it is beautiful, sad, dramatic, tragic, funny, witty and ultimately full of hope. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I really love a book. Then there are those rare times, I fall in love with one,, and it sticks with me like an experience that I know I’ll always remember with great fondness. Eleanor and Park was like that for me. I read it straight through without a break, almost without remembering to breathe. It was THAT good! I highly recommend it despite the foul-mouths of some of the characters. There is a reason that this book is a bestseller, won a Goodreads Choice Award and received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly. Simply put, it is beautiful in its authenticity.
Park referring to his demonstrative parents: “It was like watching Paul Bunyan make out with one of those It’s a Small World dolls” (p. 25).
When Park first holds Eleanor’s hand: “If Park were to look up at her now, he’d know everything…Then he slid the silk and his fingers into her open palm. And Eleanor disintegrated” (p. 71).
“Park had the sort of face you painted because you didn’t want history to forget it” (p. 132).
“As soon as he said it, she broke into a smile. And when Eleanor smiled, something broke inside him. Something always did” (p. 163).