I first heard about Eleanor & Park on tumblr and after a quick look at the description on amazon it was added to my reading list. I picked it up in Barnes and Noble and got the Exclusive Collector's Edition because they were both the same price so why not. When I opened it up to start it I was so thankful I got this version because the illustrations are beautiful.
I was rather nervous to start reading the book. I haven't read a young adult book in a couple of years, much less a romance novel, and I really didn't want to be disappointed. Rowell's popular book at the moment Fangirl has been highly discussed recently and had heard good things about it from the internet and my friends. Despite this, I was still apprehensive. It is really hard to depict a true teenager and even harder a fangirl/boy. There's just too many stereotypes thrown around that people rely on. Thankfully my nerves were not needed.
The story follows the two main characters, Eleanor and Park, and how their relationship develops. I could summarize, but I'm just going to focus on why I liked this book so much. First off, the characterization of Eleanor and Park is very well done.The inconsistencies and overdramatic elements of being a teenager are just right. You see these in both of them as well as their own elements that make up their personality. Though you a rooting for them you are still able to see their faults and the mistakes each of them make in handling the events in the book. I also loved the progression of their relationship. It was much slower than other young adult books I've read *cough* Twilight *cough* and the rise and falls of their relationship were always there. The atmosphere was never blissfully perfect. All of these parts worked well together to make the story very believable and realistic.
And, as if all of what was previously mentioned was not enough, Rowell delightfully tosses in references to comic books and 80's music and movies which easily got me fangirling as I was reading.
All in all, a fantastic book that is now one I will force everyone around me to read.
If you want to see a few of my favorite quotes from my book they will be posted on my Tumblr.
My nail polish is OPI's "A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find"