book reviews

Eleanor & Park

Hello, dear readers!

Lately, I’ve been reading some fantastic YA books. Can you say best summer homework ever?!

Eleanor & Park is definitely one of my new favorite books.

I promise not to spoil the plot! *crosses fingers*

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this 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 the summary

Eleanor meets Park on the way to school. Because there’s no room on the bus, Park grudgingly let’s the new girl sit next to him. They both think that the other is weird: Eleanor with her strange clothes, Park with his nerdy comic books.

This novel goes on my unique teen romance list. (Wait, I don’t have a list. Guess I just made one.) Like any solid book, there are multiple issues and themes that are addressed. Eleanor isn’t like other female characters that I’m used to encountering in literature: she’s a redhead, heavy-set, and an outcast at her new school. Her home life is dysfunctional, with her stepfather abusing her mom. She doesn’t own very many possessions, and worries about the safety of her family. Park is just as unique for male characters: he’s Korean-American, nerdy, takes taekwondo, and listens to rock ‘n’ roll. His dad worries that his son is gay, and occasionally brings this up.

Over time, these two misfits grow to like each other, and eventually start dating. Eleanor and Park discover that they like similar music, read the same comic books, get each other’s jokes, and fall in love with one another.

The writing is superb, the characters are original, and the plot is interesting. I love that Eleanor & Park touches on issues of teen drinking, sex, pregnancy, first love, and the joy (and importance) of just being yourself–not matter what people think or say.

I love this book. If you haven’t read it, grab a copy.

Musical bonding.
Musical bonding.


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