One extraordinary love.
Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
It can be hard going into a book when you have super high expectations. Rainbow Rowell is a fantastic author. I really enjoyed Fangirl. I LOVED Attachments. But I didn't like Landline. I have a copy of Carry On, but I haven't read it yet. So that leaves me with Eleanor & Park. I had heard so many great things about this book, so I was definitely excited when I was able to get a hold of the audiobook, thus bumping it up on my TBR.
And I liked it. I did. It was cute, and I will go into what I loved about it momentarily. But did it blow me away? Nah. It was hard reading Eleanor. I absolutely understand why she was so insecure, but it was just exhausting to read her. Over and over and over Park affirmed her, but she kept continuing to fish for compliments.
This book was in slow motion, in a good way. In a VERY good way. The pace while reading it didn't feel like a pace at all. I felt like I was there with them, living the moments. I felt like I was Eleanor. I felt like I was Park. Rainbow doesn't just show us a scene. She doesn't just tell us a scene. She immersed us into every single detail. I can remember scenes in that book as if they were moments that I lived in my own life. I don't think I have ever read a book that did this so, so well.
If you like Rainbow's books, then you should read this one. If you like YA contemporaries, you should read this. If you like reminiscing about the 80s, you should read this. If you like reading about and reliving the awkwardness and wonder of first love, you should read this. Most importantly, if you want to read some of the best writing I have ever read in my life, I think you should read this.