Eleanor & Park is cute and sweet love story between two misfits set in the 80s. However it's not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows (despite the name of the author) for these two teens. The novel has quite dark overtones, and big dose of realism which of course I loved. From the the first couple of pages in I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and my own personal reading of this book was clouded by a sense of dread and fear for the characters. Despite this, or maybe because of it, I enjoyed reading about Eleanor and Park as they were quite interesting characters. Eleanor's self-esteem issues and troubled home life made her a more relatable character, and Park's own identity issues, being half asian and slightly effeminate were refreshing to read about. I just wish Rowell had touched more on some of these issues and themes, especially Park's relationship with his father. I agree with a lot of other readers who felt that the ending falls flat, but nonetheless Eleanor & Park is a story that has enough grit, substance and sweet moments to make it a satisfying and thought-provoking read.
Recommended for people who like: Freaks & Geeks, The Smiths, Pretty in Pink, comic books.
What did you think about Eleanor & Park?