Actual rating: 4.5 stars.
Eleanor is that weird girl on the bus who has big red hair and strange clothes. Park is the Asian kid who doesn’t quite fit in. They would never have talked to each other if they hadn’t sat on the bus next to each other, but soon, Park’s giving Eleanor music to listen to and comics to read. Eleanor’s finally finding a friend in the midst of all the madness and horror of her school and home life.
Told from both Eleanor’s and Park’s perspective’s, this is a cute story about the relationship of two misfits.
And it really is. At first, I hated Park. He cussed too much for my liking (and I get that he and his friends are teenage boys and whatnot and they’re going to cuss a lot, but REALLY? THAT MUCH?) and was rude to Eleanor right from the beginning.
But he’s got a soft spot for her, and starts to like her. And yeah, she’s weird and kind of big and wears too many bracelets and necklaces, but who cares? It’s different.
And I loved that about this story. Eleanor’s not one of those girls who sees something-different-in-the-mirror-than-what-really-is. She gives it to herself straight. And when I pick up a book with a strong female protagonist who I can actually relate too because EVERY GIRL HAS SELF ESTEEM ISSUES, I absolutely love it.
Because there are so many teen books out there today that have this drop-dead gorgeous girl and we’re supposed to relate to that?? Or, the girl thinks she’s ugly but she’s really beautiful (*coughtwilightcough*)? Because let’s be honest. We’re human. We have flaws, and a lot of them.
But Eleanor doesn’t mope around about it. She understands it and is, yeah, depressed about it sometimes, but who isn’t?
So to Ms. Rainbow Rowell, I say this:
There you go.
And Park is, well, completely and utterly adorable.
So to all you girls out there who are getting sick of the dark haired muscular stereotypical men that have taken over YA books, this is for you.
Because he’s not a total hottie when it comes to YA men (sorry Park . . .), but he gets the job done.
Anyways . . . (I’m not that weird, I swear.)
Eleanor also has a lot of issues going on at home. Her beautiful mom (who has, like, five kids including Eleanor) is married to this complete *bleepidy bleeeep* of a guy. And this guy rules over her mom and all the little kids.
Right away, I felt like there was more to this then meets the eye. Something about Eleanor’s reaction to him every time he came home or she had to walk by him was almost too . . . terrified. She seemed like the strong, can’t-knock-me-down like protagonist. So right away your thinking:
(Excuse the language, but it’s true.)
Something just isn’t adding up.
But the ending . . . it all happens so quickly. You find out what THAT was and then your mind is boggling because IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW and your on a roller coaster of a ride through the last chapters of the book. And after you’re, like, stunned.
Didn’t see that one coming, now did ya?