‘Eleanor and Park’ by Rainbow Rowell

336p 2014 Orion Borrowed

When Eleanor has to sit beside Park on the school bus, at first they don’t even look at each other, instead they both look to find another seat. There aren’t any because no one else wants to sit with either of the shy and awkward outsiders.

Eleanor, who lives with her alcoholic step-father, mother and four siblings, isn’t allowed to see boys. Park is a loner who is very quiet and thoughtful.  But, on their daily journey to school, they slowly begin to bond over a love of comic books and music. When they encounter teasing at school, and Park rushes into a fight, angered by a comment made about Eleanor’s looks, they both realise that they might have something more than friendship.

Desperate to avoid her step-father at home, Eleanor starts to take refuge at Park’s house, going over after school and lying about it to her family. When she starts receiving sick anonymous notes, Eleanor puts it down to the bullies at school, but one night she discovers the truth behind the notes, and everything is changed.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is one of the best books I’ve read recently. My friend was desperate that I read it, and her taste was impeccable. The story of a teen romance in the 1980’s kept me breathless and I sat stock-still, moving only to turn the pages. I thought the plot was perfect and I fell deeply in love with the characters.

I’m desperate to know what Eleanor said in her letter to Park. I have a small suspicion, but if anyone else thinks they know, do get in touch!

Fabulous.

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