Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book came highly recommended by a friend, and I was not disappointed. It’s a young adult, first love story without false angst. The angst is warranted, purposeful, and understandable. The characters are perfectly unique without being at all cartoony. Eleanor and Park are real people that could easily exist somewhere. Within just a few quick chapters I was heavily invested in both characters. About halfway through the story I reached that critical point: the book had potential for greatness, everything was lining up. Would it make a huge mistake, just finish well, or become one of those stories that will affect you for days? I would say it finished well and stayed with me for a few days. The last fourth of the book moved along like it needed to and kept me up late reading it. And the finish was quick and not drawn out. Without spoiling anything, I will say the ending was satisfying if not as impactful as it had the potential to be.
I really love these two characters equally, which is not that common. Usually one of the two main characters in a book like this comes across as more complete or more relatable, especially when both of them are quite different. In this case, I felt compassion for both Park and Eleanor. Their story did an amazing job of capturing the uncertain, awkward, exhilarating first pangs of new love.
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