Eleanor & Park

Local Bookstore
Around the time I was still reading Fangirl, I was so over come with excitement, that I went straight to the book store and picked up Eleanor & Park. It sat around on my shelves for a bit all the same.
Like Fangirl, this book is another example to all other YA authors - and readers. Rowell is snappy, smart, witty, and honest. Her characters drive the story - and they aren't perfect, which makes them perfect. None of this feels fake. None of the story grinds along. We can relate to the people in this story - teens and adults alike.

Eleanor is an odd bird who just shows up in a typical, Middle-American high school one day. She's got bright red hair, and wears gigantic men's shirts and, well, she walks by the beat of her own drum as they say. Park is a cool teenager who no one bothers, and just goes around reading comics and listening to New Wave rock and living his normal life - until that first day Eleanor shows up. It's a story about first love that's probably more realistic than any other "young love story" I've ever seen or read, other than Blankets by Craig Thompson. It's just as beautiful and heartfelt and sad, but less like a stab in the guts.

Like I say, I appreciate what Rowell's done. She's honest with her audience, which is intended to be young. She shares things that could easily be too hard or too sappy in many other YA author's less capable hands. From what I know about Rowell, it's probably because she's basically a grumpy teenaged woman herself.
Anyway, this book is amazing. I'm not actually a huge fan of young love stories, so I liked it a little less than Fangirl, but it's quality stuff.

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