Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Did you grow up in the ’80s? Do you know what it is like to want something so badly that you’re willing to do anything? Then read this book. It is…sweet. But in a good, not a cloying way. It will make you nostalgic for that first thrill of love that happened back when Sony Walkmans were still in use and all of your problems could be forgotten for 40 minutes if you had the right cassette on hand.

Eleanor is a new girl, ignored and despised. She doesn’t have the right clothes and she doesn’t live in the right neighborhood. Worse, her stepfather is abusive and won’t allow her to even talk to a boy. She’s already been thrown out of his house once, and she is determined to stay with her mother and siblings this time. Park is one of those kids who isn’t popular, but isn’t unpopular – he’s accepted, but only just. Being associated with Eleanor would destroy what social status he has. But as they get to know one another, both Eleanor and Park realize that they can’t resist each other, no matter what the risks.

And then if you have time, read Rainbow Rowell’s other books. She writes for both teens and adults. I have only disliked one of her books so far, and that was because of the subject, not her writing, so I won’t tell you which. Just read them.

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