Review: Eleanor and Park


Isaiah Mckay, Editor-In-Chief

Eleanor and Park is easily not your typical YA romance novel. I’ve never really been into high school love stories but this one is vastly different than any other I’ve read through. I started the book initially thinking that it was going to be a cheesy love story, which it is but features a wide variety of relationships and connections including a terrible stepdad, continuous fear of society’s conceptions, bullying, and love through music.

The main character is Eleanor who is described as a ginger “big girl,” When she rides the bus, peers refer to her as Big Red. Her life is sort of messy with her having to overcome an overly aggressive alcoholic stepfather, sharing one room with her many siblings, and dealing with the negative aspects of being poor.

Park is a half-Korean teen who is among the popular students at school. He is soon forced to sit by Eleanor on the bus. Park is very into comic books and reads them on his way home while Eleanor attempts to subtly over-the-shoulder read along with him. She is obsessed with music and when the time presents itself they bond over their newfound love for each others interests.

Throughout the novel, the main hurdle that the characters are trying to overcome is society. It seems like during the book the only thing keeping them apart is everyone else. This leaves a hard barrier between what is capable in their relationship and what continuously seems impossible.

In my opinion, this book is a great read and the character backgrounds can be compared to Romeo and Juliet because of how polar opposite each family is. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a hopeful, touchy, and inspiring book.