Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 2013
Format: Paperback, 336 pgs
Source: Personal Library
Park Sheridan first met Eleanor while in the bus. He didn't deliberately seek her out; she just caught his attention with her bright red hair and there wasn't any empty seats aside from his. As usual, he is reading his comics and since no one occupies the seat next to his except his books, she naturally fill in the seat.
Park doesn't want to take notice of her initially, after all he finds her a little weird with her odd dress style and not to mention the bright red colour of her hair. It is hard to miss her; plus she is new in school and all that.
Park considers an outcast in other students' eyes; it might be due to his half Korean heritage so he somewhat feels for Eleanor when others ignore her or say mean things about her. Park always keep a low profile and try not to show his curiosity towards her, but when he noticed that she is reading his comics on his lap as the days go, things began to change from there. Slowly their silence leads to bits of conversations and before they know it Park and Eleanor find themselves develop feelings for each other.
However, life isn't going easy for them as Eleanor comes from a broken family; her dad left them and worst of all, her stepdad treat her mother and her four other siblings badly. On the other end, though Park's family are loving people, he and Eleanor realised that they come from two different worlds but despite everything, they wouldn't want to deny their love for each other, no matter how other people see it, including their families.
Set in the 80s, Eleanor & Park is a poignant, bittersweet love story between two teenagers who find courage in love and the obstacles (issues like race, bullies in school and child abuse) they face and ultimately how everything changes their life because of it. Told in alternating segments between Eleanor and Park, this allows readers to know their inner feelings and the struggles they face. I have to say reading this book brings me both joy and sadness; author Rainbow Rowell has done a great job in describing the two teenagers' emotions in a way that touches your heart and makes you want to be young in love, again. I especially loved the ending, because it is simply beautiful and makes you think that obstacles could be overcome if one continues to be brave and not giving up hope. I wish I could be more eloquent in describing this book but you may have heard this many times - you only know what's best when you read it yourself.