I know there's been a lot of talk about this book. I'd definitely consider this a buzz book. All I know is, I'm so glad there's been so much buzz because I loved this book. I hated this book, which I think is also a testament to how wonderful Rainbow Rowell is as an author.
Eleanor's life sucks. I can't begin to express just how horrible a life she has. No child, especially no child as exceptional as Eleanor should be subject to this existence. And, I can't think of anyone other than Eleanor who could come out the other side of childhood and still have a chance at being whole and happy and leading a full life. She's my hero.
Park is doing okay. He's got a loving family, even if he has his own teenage angsty thing going on with his parents and his brother, Josh. You like Park from the first pages of the book. He isn't sure of himself, and he's just holding it together as he finds his place in his family and among his schoolmates. It's his reaction to and relationship with Eleanor that lets you see just what Park is made of.
This book is very sad, but it's also funny and sweet and touching. I couldn't help but root for these sweet kids. Rowell paints a picture of adolescence that feels real and often raw. There are already a handful of readers that I know who I will be telling they must read this book.
When I was searching for the cover artwork on google images, I discovered that there is a lot of fan artwork out there for Eleanor & Park. The most lovely images were drawn by Simini Blocker. That link will take you to her tumblr page and her work is beautiful. The illustration here was posted at Teen Lit Rocks and it completely captures the scene it depicts.
St. Martin's Press made a book trailer for Eleanor & Park. You can check it out here: