Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Published: February 26th, 2013

Two misfits. 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.”

This book is extremely important for a young reader to have. I’m kind of sad it came out when I was graduating high school. If there’s one lesson I learned in life, kids can be mean. All through middle school, kids will gang up on you for the simplest yet stupidest thing in the world. For Eleanor, it was hair. Big, curly, fiery red hair. I feel Eleanor’s pain in this book because the thing in middle school kids made fun of me for was…my hair. Too frizzy, too curly, too thick. Eleanor took it much better than I did. She came to a new school while returning home with her mom, stepfather, and four siblings after being kicked out by her stepfather a year ago. She wasn’t the best looking girl, and she got made fun of on her first day. That’s when she met Park. She rode next to him on the bus to and from school. It started when Park noticed that Eleanor was reading the same comics as him, and it blossomed into this beautiful relationship. However, Eleanor wasn’t just living a rough life at school, it was a rough life at home too. Richie, her stepfather, was abusive physically to Eleanor’s mom, but also emotionally and verbally to Eleanor. He’s a real scumbag. I really, really hated him. Park and his parents come to the rescue many times when Eleanor just needs somewhere to be for a few hours…until it becomes to be too much for her. Park helps her out of Omaha and takes her somewhere safe. Thank God for Park.

I would like to say to all young-adult readers: This book will change the outlook on a lot of things. It is written beautifully and really could help a child that is getting bullied that isn’t sure of what to do. I would recommend this book to any parent that is struggling with a child getting bullied. Help them. They need it.

Rating: ★★★★★

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