This is it, this is my favorite book of 2014. It only took me until December to find it and I’m not even mad about it.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Gah, I don’t even know where to start, there are just too many great things about this book. It’s set in 1986 and even though I was only five, I get the references, the tapes and Walkman, the clothes, and the hair. I am a child of the 80s and those things are in my bones, in my DNA. I get Eleanor, maybe more than I’d like to admit. I get the red hair, the feeling bigger than everyone else, feeling like you’re too big. I get the first love and the feelings of never having enough. I just get it.
Eleanor & Park is about two kids who are opposites: in school, at home, in the world. And they hate each other when they’re forced to share a bus seat together. And while I don’t want to sound cliched because nothing in this book is typical, they start a friendship and then eventually fall in love. But it’s so much more than that so don’t write this off as just another first love story, that would do it a great injustice. And it doesn’t end the way you want it to, so that makes it better somehow too.
If you liked The Fault in Our Stars by John Green or If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Eleanor & Park would be a must-read for you. It made me happy, sad, reminisce, miss, and love. This book had all the great highs and lows but not in an expected YA lit way. Just read it. Ask for it for Christmas, buy it on your Kindle right now, don’t move on until you’ve got this book. I’m serious. Then come back and tell me what you thought, we really need to talk about this.