Rainbow Rowell's novel has left me with another book hangover. After devouring it in a day, I will be recommending it to every teen girl as well as my adult reading friends.
Park is a bit unique because of his Korean heritage. His mom is from South Korea, having moved to the United States with Park's father after the two met while his father was in the Korean War. After nearly two decades of marriage, the two are still very much in love. Park isn't tough like his dad, and seems to have inherited his mother's more diminutive stature. He loves music and comics.
Eleanor is a girl who attracts attention, despite the fact that that is the last thing she wants. Her mom has recently remarried, and her stepfather, Richie, is a jerk - and that is being nice. Her brothers and sister rely on her to help keep them safe, and aside from food, their basic needs often seem to be ignored. This new school that Eleanor attends is different than her last. Here, she seems to be the target of a group of mean girls.
When Eleanor and Park end up sitting together on the bus one day, they don't talk. Yet, as they find themselves sitting next to each other every day, the two eventually read comics together, talk, and finally fall in love.
Their romance is so sweet, yet still so realistic as they try to figure out who they are individually.
This book broke my heart a little bit, and there is so much more to this story than I am able to summarize neatly in a few paragraphs. I'm already hoping my eleven year old will grow up and read this book in a few years....I can't wait to hear what she thinks about it.