Every once in awhile I come across a book that I love so much and find so universally appealing that I just can’t help but recommend it to everyone I see. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is one of those books. You might have heard of it because of the controversy surrounding it lately (and just in time for Banned Books Week, of course!). Or maybe you heard of it because of John Green’s glowing review of it in the New York Times. Either way, it’s getting tons of buzz, and for good reason.
Eleanor & Park is set in 1986 and is the story of two misfits who meet on the school bus. She gets bullied for being a bigger girl with bright red hair. He’s a kept-to-himself Asian-American who would rather read his comic books and listen to The Smiths than hang out with the cool kids. When Eleanor can’t find a seat on the bus, Park saves her from ridicule and lets her take the seat next to him. At first they don’t speak to each other, but one day Park notices Eleanor reading his comic books over his shoulder. This new found friendship grows into love over time, turning into one of the most genuine and charming YA love stories that I’ve read. I fell in love with Rainbow Rowell’s witty dialogue and realistic characters, and I guarantee that you will too.