This weeks read, Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell was superb! It broke my heart on so many levels but was such a rewarding read.
Eleanor is the new girl at high school and teenagers are unforgiving, especially to a chubby, red headed, Goodwill clad outcast. Park is the well liked, good looking, well groomed boy who accidentally falls in love with the outcast. Eleanor's family life is a wreck, more brothers and sisters than her mother has any right raising, and an alcoholic stepdad with a mean streak. Park's family couldn't be further from the opposite, loving and warm. He doesn't live in fear of where his next meal will come from, or if he will ever have decent clothes or necessities like a toothbrush or shampoo. Ever since first meeting on the school bus one morning the two opposites have become increasingly drawn to each other, slowly bonding over their love of comics and good music. Over the course of the school year, the two teenagers find love but will it be enough as tension and violence grow to unspeakable levels in Eleanor's house?
This book was so many things to me all wrapped up in 325 pages; young love, witty humor, soul crushing heartache, and that awkwardness that we remember all too well from our teenage years. I wanted to jump into the book at times and bear hug poor Eleanor (even though I'm pretty sure she would despise it) as she endured endless teasing at school and the vile taunting of her stepdad. She was such a beautifully written character. She is fierce and strong but at the same time feels, and feels deeply. Park was quiet and kind but had such a fire in his heart and touch of rebellion in his soul. Both characters were so likable I rooted for them from page one.
I will definitely be gobbling up anything from Rainbow Rowell from here on out. Brilliant book!
Until next week my bookworm friends.