Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Page Count: 325
Eleanor is a redheaded girl starting at a new school. She will get picked on because of her clothes and because of her weight but her first problem is finding a seat on the bus. Insert Park! Park is a Korean boy who feels bad that nobody is letting Eleanor sit next to them on the bus and tells her to sit next to him in a mean and nasty way. He doesn’t understand why this girl is dressed the way she is and that she doesn’t care how she looks. The two of them begin to ride the bus next to each other every day and start building a relationship. But Eleanor comes from a rough family. She lives at home with her mom and step-dad and her four younger siblings. There’s never enough food and Eleanor sometimes has to wear the same clothes two days in row but none of that is as bad as her step-dad. But when Park becomes the most important person in her life, she hides their relationship from her family because she fears her step-dad.
This book started out kind of rough for me. I was a little bored with it and did not see anything special about the characters and their story but it started to grow on me. I enjoyed reading about Eleanor and Park reading comic books on the bus and sharing music with each other. They were seriously so cute! But Eleanor was a little mean, I thought. Maybe it was just because she kept everything bottled up and never wanted to open up to Park but it came across as rude and mean. She also would get so upset over little things that Park would say and I thought she was seriously overreacting. Park’s dad was one of my favorite characters. Park describes him at times as rough and I can totally see that since he is a veteran but he is just a “cool” dad and I loved reading the chapters that he was in.
The ending of the book is was upset me the most. I was left with so many questions and I’m still wondering what happened with them. I just feel like so much is unresolved and I need to know! If you tend to like books with happy endings, maybe don’t pick this one up. I’m not really sure though because some people would say that it is a happy ending. It’s very hard to explain. I guess it is a happy ending but there’s still so much that I want to know and we don’t get that information. Either way, this is a book that you should just pick the book up for yourself and decide.