What It Is About: I guess you would call this your typical high school romance story. Now that normally wouldn't get my attention, but since I have seen this title mentioned so many times on Twitter, I decided I'd better give it a shot. Eleanor is the new girl in town and is quite different from your "typical" high school female. Park is mixed race with a Korean mother and an American father. Their relationship begins on the school bus without much communication. As each day goes by, their friendship begins to grow over comic books, music, and their differences that force them to stand out more than they would like. Eleanor comes from a broken home with an abusive step-father, a weak mother, and four younger siblings. Park comes from a solid home with a loving mother, a strong father, and a younger brother. As much as Eleanor and Park would love to ride off into the sunset of "high-school romance", they both realize this is going to be more difficult than they would like.
What I Thought Of It: This was a pleasant surprise of a book. Based on the summary I wasn't sure it was my kind of story, but because it had gotten such rave reviews, I wanted to give it a shot. What I enjoyed most in the story were the characters. I came to really know and care about these two young people and what they were going through. My heart ached when I read about Eleanor's family life and cringed when I read about Eleanor and Park trying to fit in with the high school crowd. The story was very well-written and the plot moved along quickly. I was able to finish the book in two days and was engaged during the entire story and that right there says a lot.
Who Should Read It: I know many educators have been enjoying this novel and I'm sure many more will also. I have a daughter that is a freshman in college and I told her she should read it during her holiday break. I think high-school readers will find this a delicious read and be able to relate to both Eleanor and Park. Happy Reading...
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars