Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK 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.
If you didn't guess, the ending sort of broke this one for me. It still gets four stars, but because it's a work of genius and a romance between two NORMAL people. But the ending... as realistic as it was, that was a book thrower for me. Good thing that it's on my kindle, or I literally would've - I sort of gently tossed my kindle away.
I kind of started backwards here, to tell you the truth. Let's go back to the beginning. The first paragraph, the first sentence - they were like instant hooks. I wanted to know all about Eleanor and Park, and why Park is looking so hard for resemblances in other people. Lucky for me, we found out pretty sudden like. I loved how normal and lovable both Eleanor and Park were.
Eleanor could be a bit overbearing and brash at times, but it's just her personality - and it's very easy to get used to, because I know several people that Eleanor could literally be. It was easy to imagine her, because she was just so real! I also liked Park - he was like the cutest thing ever. Really. And he's so mushy adorbs - finally a sweet guy! (And chivalrous!) *hugs fictional character*
I also appreciated their family dynamics. It was really nice to see Eleanor and her mom go to the grocery store... I mean, that just made my day! Real, normal every day things! In a book! And the world didn't end! But Eleanor's stepfather is....gross. I really, really disliked him. Like, I would beat you badly disliked him.
Contrary-wise, both of Park's parents were great! His mom was a little iffy at first, but I grew to like her. Some of the things that she says are just too funny. And Park's dad was a pretty good guy, even if he is a little tough on Park.
Eleanor & Park together, though... the warm fuzzies. They were so cute, and I love love loved them together! They were kind of awkward sometimes, but it was still so cute. I do think that Park's confession of love was only because he was scared, though. He could've waited just a little bit longer before he threw it out there. (Oh, like that's a spoiler. You already knew that they were going to fall in love!)
All in all, Eleanor and Park would have been at LEAST a four point five for me, if the ending just hadn't killed it for me. I do want to read more by Rainbow Rowell, though!