Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
“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.”
This is one of the first books in a little while that I’ve been able to sit down and simply read cover to cover without feeling like I need to take a break, or reached that point in the early hours where my brain whispers “I think you ought to sleep now” -no. This book had me from the second I read "XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus", because quite honestly I know this exact feeling.
Eleanor & Park, though a romantic fiction, hit me differently the way other books have. This novel shows struggles, pain, the essence of true love and the reality of falling in love with someone who is perhaps a little broken. I also appreciate the way it does not try to pretend that everything turns to sunshine and rainbows when you fall in love, it explains how that real outside world will always come back for you whether you try and run from it or not.
Interestingly, the book is written from both characters points of view helping me as the reader to understand the reasoning behind the others actions, something that I think we can often find difficult in our own relationships.
This book simply filled me up. It made me smile, it most definitely made me cry, and I definitely was able to take something away from it. Thank you Rainbow Rowell for an absolutely stunning read.