I cannot begin to express my gratitude towards this book. The affection that I have developed for it is unlike no other. I have so many feelings, I can't even begin where to start talking about them.
Eleanor & Park is about two people who don't have many things in common. One comes from a very broken home, having returned from a forced "hiatus" from her own family. She doesn't own many material things anymore, nor does she feel she owns anything, period. Another lives in a world where he doesn't quite belong. Not within his circle of friends, not within his family, and sometimes not within his own head. These two meet on a bus route to school. One begrudingly gives up an empty seat for her, and slowly a friendship begins. What they don't expect is harmony that isn't just heard in music.
Eleanor & Park is a story that relates to a story of my own, my life. Little did I know that once I began reading this, I would slowly read bits and pieces from my own life. Whether the moments are symmetrical, the feelings are the same. It is a testament to an author and their work when a reader can connect to a story, its characters, and where it took place. It says a million things when an author can transport a reader out of their own life and into their story. One story, might I add, that seems so real and tangible, I swear it was my own.
Eleanor is a character to love in so many possible ways. Not only for her spunk, but mostly for the loyalty she has to herself. Not many female characters have a life like hers, and not many female characters has her outlook. I loved her from the moment she stepped onto the bus, with her wild, red hair.
Park was me, as a kid. I remember thinking the same things that Park did. Living in a world where you couldn't necessarily relate to one single thing. Park was a representation of everything good and honest. I loved him more than I should have a character. I respected him. And most of all, I adored Rowell for writing him the way that she did.
Eleanor & Park is contemporary and written in present day. It had so many realistic elements that I believe in. I don't know anything about Omaha. I don't know anything about the neighborhood that Eleanor or Park lived in. But after reading Eleanor & Park, I believe in it all.
It's not very often when I love a book so much. I feel like Eleanor & Park spoke to me in a specific way. It will forever be remembered, forever reread, and most of all, forever loved.