Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell has been on my radar for quite some time now. It was the cover art that initially hooked me in — the simple illustration and the type. At first, I thought it was a graphic novel.
Yesterday while I was returning a stack of books to the library, I saw Eleanor & Park as one of their featured titles and I grabbed it. I was just going to check out a few pages, but then I got completely sucked in. I couldn’t put it down. Usually, when I’m speed-reading, I gloss over words and sometimes pages. But, not with this one. I wanted to read every single word written on the page.
Six hours later, I was, like, damn. I haven’t read a book that made me so happy, gave me butterflies in the stomach, and brought tears to my eyes in so long. Plus, it brought me back to my high school years that were also filled with cassette tapes, Esprit bags, waiting for telephone calls, and that one crazy crush.
Set over one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
Some of my favorite quotes:
- “The new girl’s eyes were darker than his mom’s, really dark, almost like holes in her face. That made it sound bad, but it wasn’t. It might even be the best thing about her. It kind of reminded Park of the way artists draw Jean Grey sometimes when she’s using her telepathy, with her eyes all blacked out and alien.”
- “Paul was the one who’d taught Eleanor to say Asian and not oriental. ‘Oriental’s for food,’ he’d said.”
- “‘I don’t like you,’ he said. ‘I need you.'”
I am now a Rainbow Rowell fan and can’t wait to read her other books.