Summary: A coming of age high school romance between two unlikely teens set in 1986.
In the last year I read almost everything that John Green has written. And I loved all of it.
So when John Green tweeted how much he loved Eleanor and Park, I added it to my wishlist. Now my wish list is LONG, but I do track the prices of those books and when it went on sale I picked it up.
Saturday afternoon I was looking for something to read. I just finished the last few pages of two different non-fiction books and wanted something light and fun.
I started reading and was hooked almost instantly. In fact I read the entire book before I want to sleep (it was after midnight and was reading in bed, but I didn’t go to sleep before I finished.)
I am a romantic at heart and I love young adult books, so this might not be for everyone. When I was describing it to my wife, I said it was just like Pretty in Pink, just if the Molly Ringwald character was overweight, and instead of just having an nice alcoholic Dad she had an abused mom and a sadistic drug addicted step-dad, and Andrew McCarthy‘s character were half Korean. And instead of Duckie… (then my wife said, “so it isn’t really like Pretty in Pink at all.”)
She is right. It isn’t really like Pretty in Pink, but it is a teen romance that focuses on two characters that learn to look past the obvious external reasons why they shouldn’t be together and find the interior reasons why they should be together. (See it is just like Pretty in Pink.)
I will say, I wasn’t thrilled by the ending, but it was acceptable and I think it made sense for the story. I enjoyed Eleanor & Park in part because grew up in right about the same era as the book was set. And I do like good presentations of new young love. It is not the same as a mature love (which in the long term is much better), but it is good to remember that once upon a time you walked around a whole day thinking about the fact that ‘they just touched my hand.’