Release Date: February 26th 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
From the book jacket:
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.
Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book – he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor… never to Eleanor.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.
I see why this book received so much praise. It’s sweet and real and heartbreaking. I wanted to read it again immediately after finishing it. This book certainly includes painful things, but it does so in a way that isn’t overwrought. It’s simultaneously dark and hopeful and very real. People often complain that YA books are too dark, without really understanding how important it is for those books to portray the difficult lives and circumstances.
I just love these two characters. I want to give Eleanor a hug and be the mother that she desperately needs. She really just breaks my heart. Park is wonderful. He’s the kind of boyfriend I would wish for every teenage girl. Rowell does such a great of portraying two characters that are lost in that way that is so universal to so many teenagers, but still unique to each one.
The setting, particularly Eleanor’s house, is very important to the story. The way she describes each location really emphasizes the way the characters feel when there. Eleanor’s house feels suffocating and almost scary, but the bus seat feels safe. It’s a great accompaniment to the action and conversations.
Rowell writes from the perspective of both characters and does so beautifully. She often alternates between each of them within one scene, so we are able to see simultaneously what they are both feeling in a particular moment. The language she uses is very poetic, but still believable as a teenage voice. It was really difficult for me to pick a favorite line because there are so many that were so wonderfully written.
Mixtapes. I do so miss mixtapes.
“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”
Read This If You Like:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr