I've been having a case of not Reader's Block this time, but Review Writer's Block. I think I'm finally over it, though. I think this review (which is actually a rewrite) has finally put me back into the reviewing mode.
Genre: YA contemporary
Publication date: February 26th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.Source: Bought
I know I'm not the only one who finds it tough to write a review of a fantastic book, so I'm just going to jump right in.
Eleanor and Park were such a adorable, real couple. I loved how they started off—not speaking to each other on the bus, not even liking each other all that much—and I loved how their friendship steadily progressed—a shared comic book on the bus, no words at all, to more and more shared words, borrowing and lending comic books. The sweetest, most heart-melting, first hand-holding experience ever. A cute first kiss. Eleanor realizing little details about Park and Park realizing little details about Eleanor. A sweet and slow descent into first love that just made my. Heart. Melt.
Eleanor & Park is a coming of age love story done right. It was a love story between two very average teenagers. It was a love story that didn't just feature the couple, but their insecurities, their hardships, and their families as well. It was a love story that wasn't padded with unnecessary fluff, and wasn't dressed up too fancily grand moments of swoon. The romance was simple—baby steps were taken and the smallest moments were the biggest.
The romance stole the show for me in this book, but I also loved how the other pieces came into play. The themes of bullying, social pressures, and self-image stood out the most to me. They all went hand-in-hand with each other, and even meshed well with Eleanor and Park's relationship. When the two struggled, they learned to lean on one another, to help one another out. They learned how to become more comfortable with each other and with themselves.
Overall, Eleanor & Park lived up to every expectation I had of it and more. It made my heart melt. It made my heart hurt. I loved the central couple and the struggles they went through and the journey of first love they went on together. I loved the beautiful writing that made so many little moments my favorites. I loved how real it felt, and ultimately, I just loved that I got to read it.
Eleanor & Park can be loved and appreciated by many people, and I highly, highly recommend reading it and witnessing Eleanor and Park's wonderful journey yourself.