Saturday, November 30, 2013

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Two teens thrown together by fate and the school bus become friends (then more) despite the odds - doesn't that sound like a book you want to read? YOU TOTALLY SHOULD!!

Eleanor's new to school, and things at home suck: becoming invisible may be the only way she'll survive her mother's explosive new husband. On the other hand, Park's been in the same neighborhood his whole life and lives a common middle-class existence with minimal family drama. It's not an easy or fast friendship but music and comic books become a common language and a bridge to understanding.

These are kids you relate to and root for - hell, odds are you knew or may have been one of them at some point in your life. And their story is stellar.

And a note: while it's marketed as a teen book, the 1986 setting meant that as a 40-something reader, the music and cultural references were especially poignant for me. Do not miss this one!

(I can see now why some people were so hard on Rowell's book Fangirl - which I read first although it came out second. I absolutely loved that book, but now that I've read this one I can see how Fangirl might falter in a direct comparison. I still think it's a great book ... but this one is EPIC and certainly would be a hard act to follow.)

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