Eleanor and Park

Book: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell 

Synopsis: Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this 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. [via Amazon]
Book Notes: 
It wasn't a very pleasant day at the bookstore yesterday. It seems everyone joined the band wagon on New Year's resolutions and reading more books that everything I had on my list was unavailable. Dejected, I wander home only to realise, 'Duh! eReader!' I so easily forget that I have an instant library on hand, readily available as simple as a one-click purchase. Perhaps it's the old soul in me that still connects most to a hard copy. The smell of new books is intoxicating, and I secretly love the clutter a stack of books creates in my living space.
On any other day I would have waited to find a hard copy, but I was crazed with this delirious idea of having to read Eleanor and Park on January 06. Strange forces we're working their magic, and it was all I could think about for the most part of the day. 
I wasn't prepared for this book. I thought it was going to be a light romantic comedy of sorts, and for the most part it was... What I didn't expect was my profound attachment to the characters. Finishing the book, I wasn't sure if I felt heart broken or hopeful. The open ender left me hanging for a little bit more. A love story like that couldn't have just ended that way, could it? Or what it the way it ended that made it all the more fascinating?
I really liked that the characters were very human. They weren't the typical Barbie and Ken perfect leading couple, but real, awkward, insecure teenagers that were trying to discover themselves and their place in this world. I loved the dorky banter they shared! The book was written so intimately that I felt like I was constantly eavesdropping on their conversations. 
Love seems to be a topic I love reading about, and I think this YA book did a pretty good job depicting this certain kind of love. This kind of love was depicted so beautifully in this book. The perfect kind of immature love. 
That's the thing about your first love... It's your first. You have no idea what to expect. You've never had your heart broken, so you have no idea how painful it feels. Everything is so brand new, so curious, so exotic. You're senseless drunk with euphoria, this intoxicating, strange new feeling of what being in love is.
The characters were still learning so much about themselves, about each other, about what love really means. Their love was built on a shaky foundation, but it was their youth that kept them optimistic and hopeful. Maybe the older we get, we find this notion to be ridiculous. Or maybe, the older we get, we search for these kinds of books to help us remember.
For whatever its worth, these characters feel so real to me now. I was left with a roller coaster of emotions, that even hours after reading I cannot seem to let go nor articulate. I know these character's aren't real but I really can't help but wish them a cliche happy ending. I'm not really one for epilogues, but I wish Rainbow Rowell will revisit these two. It would be nice to catch up with them when they're a little bit older and maybe wiser.
Book Quotes:
"You can be Han Solo, he said, kissing her throat. And I'll be Boba Fett. I'll cross the sky for you."
"Every since the first day they'd met, Eleanor was always seeing him in unexpected places. It was like their lives were overlapping lines, like they had their own gravity. Usually, that serendipity felt like the nicest thing the universe has ever done for her."
"Yesterday happens."
"Who knows what he missed. Her fatness. Her weirdness. The fact that she couldn't talk to him like a regular person. Whatever. Whatever perversion caused him to like her was his problem."
"Then he slid the silk and his fingers into her open palm. And Eleanor disintegrated."
"Park's eyes got wide. Well sort of wide. Sometimes she wondered if the shape of his eyes affected how he saw things. That was probably the most racist question of all time."

Rating: 4.8/5

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