This is a novel about two characters, you’ll never guess… Eleanor and Park, and follows them for about a year. The story starts just as they meet and documents the fledgling, cringe-worthy teenage relationship. A relationship that started by accident on the school bus, and grows on the bus and within the walls of the school, and finally outside of the school. It’s sweet and nice, but awkward. Often they use music or comic books to communicate instead of speaking.
But as much as their relationship makes you cringe it also makes you smile. It’s just so sweet even if their lives aren’t always, especially poor Eleanor. Her story actually made me quite sad, possibly because I really just don’t know anybody with a situation as bad as hers. It involves a broken home, a new step-father who isn’t exactly the sweetest guy, and lots of issues about food and money, and even shelter. Even though the book focuses on the relationship between Eleanor and Park, the commentary on how Eleanor is growing up cannot be ignored and I think contributes a lot to the story.
Without giving away the ending, I just want to say that I wasn’t happy with it. I don’t know if that says more about the actual ending or about me and the way I like my stories to go. You’ll have to read it and let me know what you think!
It’s a nice, quick read, and I’d definitely recommend it, even if I would have liked a different ending.