After reading Fangirl, I seriously could not wait to get my hands on Eleanor and Park, so when I saw it in Walmart (Shocking, I know, I bought from somewhere other than Barnes and Noble or Book Outlet!) I snatched it up.
Eleanor is the new girl at school, and- surprise, surprise- day one and she's already being picked on. On the bus, she sits next to Park, an Asian kid who seems to be in with the popular kids, but also seems to be apart from them at the same time. After a while, Eleanor and Park slowly become friends, and from there, more than friends, and Park defends her when she's bullied. But the notes on her textbooks that call her names and make sexual statements still come, and Eleanor suspects the girl that's been at the head of her taunting to be the one doing it. While managing the daily abuse at school, Eleanor has to deal with a step father who drinks and comes home to beat her mother, as well as live with strict rules. Always walking on pins and needles, until Park becomes her escape.
It took me two days to finish it, and I still have mixed feelings. I loved the storyline! I loved that the characters weren't the average skinny white girl and muscle-y boy. But the story was sort of twisted... maybe "sick" would be a better word, what with the mental abuse Eleanor recieved. Overall, I did enjoy the book, and the ending was bittersweet, so I give it a three of five stars. I would recommend it to people who like a little mystery in their romance novels, and who want to read something that isn't about stereotypical "perfect" characters.