Lav gave 4 stars stars to Eleanor & Park (Hardcover)
Eleanor & Park is a love story. It's about a boy and a girl who fall in love despite what the world around them is saying. There are no vampires, no love destroying dystopian society, no ancient curses. It's just life and the people around them and their own walls that keep them apart. Eleanor is too chubby and too weird and she comes from a questionable family. Park isn't white enough and isn't manly enough and doesn't know how to fit into the place he supposedly belongs. They shouldn't fall in love. Because, as everyone keeps reminding them, Eleanor shouldn't want Park and Park definitely shouldn't want Eleanor. But then they realize it's all so stupid. The people around them are so stupid, because why shouldn't they fall in love? Why shouldn't they be together? This is a story about a boy and a girl who fall in love, despite what they think is their better judgement and then realize that it was their better judgement that brought them together.What I Liked
Park and Eleanor were both such distinct characters. There are so many details about them that flesh them out- the comic books and the music, Eleanor's fashion sense, Park's heritage. All of the little things that don't seem to have much consequence are so important in creating these beautiful people that you can't help but root for and feel for and fall in love with over and over again.
Their conversations were perfect. Every word they said to each other managed to sound realistic, even when the words were poetic and romantic. The push and pull at the beginning was handled so well, and when they finally start to open up, there's this rush of relief.
While I was reading this book, I felt like I was in Omaha in 1986, not a suburb of Kansas City in 2013. When Eleanor was at home, I felt stuck and nervous and when Eleanor was with Park, I felt like everything was going to be okay. The setting was remarkably real.
I guess that's what made this book so amazing for me. How real and vivid everything is.What I Didn't Like
I only have one real complaint. I felt like after Eleanor and Park finally got over their shyness and their walls and started becoming more physical and more in love, their mental connection became less apparent. They spent their time making out or telling each other how much they loved each other, and less time having the conversations they had before, about music and comic books and life. It felt like everything changed, and maybe that's accurate to relationships, but I wanted more substance. I wanted the witty conversations I fell in love with, and the kissing. Overall
This book was beautiful and real. It's rare to see a relationship in a book that feels this accurate and painful and wonderful. It was one of those books that made me physically ache with how much I wanted to fall in love. I feel like there aren't many people who won't fall in love with book, because everything about it is so honest, and I think that's what we all want. We want to believe that love like this can exist in the world, even the messed up world Eleanor and Park and all of us find ourselves in. And when it feels this amazing and hurts this much and seems this real, it has to exist.