I read this book because Linda Holmes is always talking about it on Pop Culture Happy Hour (and it was one of Kindle’s Daily Deals a while ago). I’ve read a lot of good books this summer, but I think this one is my favourite. I read The Fault in Our Stars last year, and while I was moved by it, I didn’t think it was all that.
Eleanor & Park on the other hand, is the kind of book where you cast the movie adaptation in your head. The characters are self-conscious and complex, the love story is organic and life-like, and the teen angst obnoxious. Plus it’s set in 1986, the year I graduated from high school.
I really identified with these characters, especially Eleanor’s repressive household, where you had to lie to do anything cool. I loved the subtle references to 80’s pop culture, and of course the music references. This book spoke to me as an adult the way, Pretty in Pink spoke to me as a teenager.
If you liked Freaks and Geeks , you’ll love Eleanor and Park. It captures that sense of wanting to be cool while at the same time knowing that wanting to be cool is stupid and lame. The characters are so engaging that you forget they don’t have cell phones or Facebook.
I pretty much binge-read this book, rushing to the end with 15 minutes left on my lunch break because I couldn’t stand the thought of going four hours without knowing the conclusion. I love it when a young adult book helps me remember who I was, and this book did that in spades.