Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is a quirky romance about two star-crossed teens. Eleanor and Park could not be more different, and yet it is their differences that draw them to one another. Eleanor is the new girl. She has big red hair and wears weird clothes. Park is a part Korean punk rock and comic book fanatic. When Eleanor steps on the bus for the first time, it is Park who (albeit unwillingly) comes to her rescue and shares his seat on the bus. Through comic book and music discussions, Eleanor and Park develop a love so deep for one another that they could be compared to the famous, Romeo and Juliet (though Eleanor would probably not approve of the comparison).
Self-image, reputation, bullying, self-esteem, domestic violence, and poverty are all issues Eleanor and Park must overcome. The ending is bittersweet, but at least the author doesn’t have the characters stab themselves in some overly dramatic fashion (Romeo and Juliet reference)!
I loved this story. I can see why it has received so much positive attention.