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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Sometimes two worlds can collide by accident, but end up so perfectly as if meant to be. This is the case when Eleanor meets Park in Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. The novel takes place in 1986 in a small community, and school full of cliques, just like today’s society. The story alternates between Park’s and Eleanor’s perspective for the reader to get a glimpse of how one truly sees the other. As for love stories, I was never a big fan until I picked up this book and could not put it down. The book is not some sappy love story, but one of honest emotions from teenagers, not like the fake scenes within movies.

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Like holding something complete and completely alive.”

The story is written in conversational language, often including fragments, to help further the emotion between the two teens and to show how they interact with one another. Besides having conversational language, the author creates vivid imagery to paint the picture for the reader, and you begin to feel as if you too are sitting on the bus with Eleanor and Park. At first, the two main characters start off in two very different worlds, but soon each of their own worlds depends on the other, truly showing their love for one another.

Like any good story, it is never just a simple relationship. There are twists and turns, and people who stand in the way. When Eleanor first comes onto the bus, she is victimized by the popular girl Tina, who becomes her enemy. Throughout the novel, Eleanor experiences the real viciousness of girl hatred, which still takes place today. Luckily, Eleanor is not alone and turns to Park for comfort, who stands up for Eleanor even if she does not want him to. But the enemy is never actually who it seems, as the reader understands towards the end of the novel.

Throughout the novel, unlikely friendships are formed between characters. Once you pick up this book, you will not be able to put it down as the twists just will not let you! The story reminds me of Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, and if you enjoyed that book you are sure to enjoy this book too! For not being a hopeless romantic type, I was able to fall in love with the two romantics of the novel and you will be able to do the same.




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