Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don't know how to write about this book. Eleanor and Park. Eleanor and Park. A "must read" falls short of the world's greatest understatement.
This novel. These teens. They make you split yourself open and everything you hate about yourself comes spilling out into the world, and everything you love about yourself comes spilling out into the world, and you can't put it back. This books leaves you raw and exposed, clinging to love in a way that doesn't seem possible in words. Propels you to physically press yourself into your "person" and want to mold to them to fill any gap in your soul. That sounds terribly dramatic. I don't even care. This book destroyed me. It is perfection.
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.