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Eleanor is the new girl in town and doesn't fit in at all. Park is the boy on the bus who tries to be as invisible as possible. They slowly open up to each other and fall for each other with the help of mix tapes and comic books. As it says on the back of the book, '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've been reluctant to read Eleanor & Park for a while. I've seen so many reviews online saying it's incredible and I didn't want to go into it with high expectations just for it to not meet them. That being said, after I read Fangirl a few weeks ago I knew I had to read this. Eleanor & Park is one of those books that deserves all of the hype it gets.
By far my favourite thing about Rainbow Rowell's writing is how realistic her characters are. Her characters are flawed. They are not perfect. They have traits about them that are not desirable and that's what makes them so fantastic. I find I get much more attached to a character who is imperfect because they just seem all the more real. Eleanor, Park and all of the people around them feel so real that I couldn't help but love this book.
I had been warned by a commenter on a blog post where I'd mentioned that I wanted to read this soon to have tissues at hand for the ending so I was on the look out for something sad to crop up the whole way through the book but I still didn't think it would play out as it did. Although I'm much more of a fan of happy endings, as most of us are really, I completely see why the ending was necessary and it just added to the realism of the whole story.
I would definitely recommend this book. It warns on the back of the book that it's not suitable for younger readers but for anyone older than about 14 I would recommend it. It's a fantastic and realistic book that deals with very real, very important issues.
Have you read Eleanor & Park? What did you think of it?