“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that?
Someone you could love forever,
someone who would forever love you back?
And what did you do when that person was born half a world away?
The math seemed impossible."
--Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, 325 pages
Publication Date: February 26th, 2013
Source: Borrowed from library
Dammit, ya'll. I was born in the 80's but I can't really say I was a child of the 80's. I ask my mom ALL the time what it felt like to be a teenager in the 80's and grow up around all the lace and neon and leg warmers and FANTASTIC music. But no, nothing. "It was fine." FINE?! MOM, you became an individual when Madonna was actually cool and a total living icon and you had AEROSMITH! And all the Brat Pack movies! MOM how can you just say it was fine!? "I don't know...we didn't know any different." Ay vay, I can't anymore. While I was sad I didn't get a huge dose of lace and leg warmers, I did get an incredibly heartfelt story about love.
Eleanor & Park is about exactly what the description says. 2 misfits. 1 love. Eleanor is a frizzy redhead who sticks out like a sore thumb in her strange clothes and standoffish demeanor. Park is a quiet half-Korean music lover who just wants to be left alone. Through some very awkward and adorable encounters they become friends...and so much more.
Their relationship is just beautiful. They are both loners. Slightly lost and insecure. Both want to be left along but at the same time yearn for something more. Eleanor comes from a very dark place. While Park has his own issues, Eleanor takes the monopoly on this one. It is not only that these two like each other...they need each other, as Park will tell you :) I think they just brought out the absolute best in each other and they both learned to trust and to love and to be okay with who they were. They were each other's light in a world of darkness.
Eleanor is...amazing. I think her character is someone every girl can relate to. Those feelings of being broken and unwanted broke my heart. How she couldn't believe that anybody would be crazy enough to actually like her, what girl hasn't felt like that? I STILL feel like that. I felt her characterization was so real and honest and exactly what every young adult girl goes through. And it was nice to read about a character that wasn't "small" as a euphemism for skinny and fit. Eleanor is a real girl. Love love love. Park is beyond ador. He is so smart and witty. I love him. What he lacks in height he makes up for in inner strength. And oh my gosh, Park's mom?! How amazingly hilarious was she?! She is another character I just have to say I loved. I could totally picture her in my head with her accent and her hovering and her frowns. I loved almost every scene she was in and couldn't help but laugh along with her.
This story was definitely not what I was expecting at first. It was a lot darker than I originally thought it would be but I loved it. It made it that much more real. This is a fantastic love story that deals with so many real emotions and life situations. And it had so much 80's music in it...amazing. I would def recommend reading this, especially you contemporary lovers out there :)