Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and ParkEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another win for Rowell — this time, she charms with a story of a high school couple’s first love. Utterly charming, you effortlessly fall under the spell of these two, while from page one you know this isn’t going to end the way you want it to.

Park’s a pretty standard good kid — nice family, father’s a bit overbearing, into comics, Tae Kwon Do, punk and new wave music (hey, it’s 1986, don’t hold it against him). He doesn’t fit in as well as he should socially (his half-Korean-ness in a heavily white school doesn’t help), but overall he seems pretty well-adjusted.

Eleanor, on the other hand, isn’t. It takes most of the book to figure out just how messed up she is and why, but from early on, you get the picture of someone from a very damaged home just trying to be as normal as she can be (answer: not very).

These two meet on the school bus and eventually fall head-over-heels, and watching them figure out how to be in love, how to accept affection and differences . . . it just melts your heart.

Not as good as Rowell’s Attachments, but a winner nonetheless. Can’t wait for whatever she brings to the table next.

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