By Heather A.
5 out of 5 stars ★★★★★
One extraordinary love.
Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.
Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
Eleanor and Park is so sweet. I’m trying to figure out how to give the review justice without completely falling apart. It’s about two kids who are outliers in their social circles (or lack thereof), but find each other through fate. Park became my favorite when he noticed Eleanor was reading over his shoulder. He knew that she would want to read the comics later and he gave her his comics to borrow. And how they gradually move forward with their relationship is the sweetest thing. He let’s her listen to his music. She’s worried about wasting his batteries in his Walkman. They have a phone date on a Friday night that they are both excited for, even though Park has the option to go to the football game–he picked her! It’s totally swoon-worthy, slow, but caring, high school romance. As my friend described on Goodreads, it’s like falling in love for the first time.
Eleanor’s life is extremely difficult. I do understand why she acts and dresses the way she does. I understand her hesitation at the one good thing in her life. I understand that life is not easy and everyone has secrets behind the walls of their home. And what makes this relationship work so well is how Park is a steady presence—from her first day at a new school, to the unwavering loyalty, and help he offers along the way. From what information we have about her and about him, they don’t seem like they would work together, but they look past all their individual flaws to find each other.
This review is so sappy!
The ending is heartbreaking. I wish I could shake Eleanor out of whatever hesitation she had when she was with Park, and then hug her because she’s dealing with it the best she can. Of course, I want them to be together. LOVE CONQUERS ALL! Right? And maybe it does. Maybe they find their way back to each other, or at least have a phone conversation after a year of silence. But as most high school relationships, emotions diminish after spending time apart, and in all honesty, I can’t see them going much further than whatever hopeful end the Author insiuated.
But I think that’s the point of the ending, to draw your own conclusions, based on life experience, media input, and other factors. Do you want them to be together forever? Are you a cynical romantic like me? Leave a comment and lets talk about it.