Cover Me: It’s probably one of the sweetest covers I’ve seen in a long time. The type font with the art is perfect. That’s even before you read the book. After completing it, I look back to this cover and think there couldn’t be another.
The Concept: Eleanor and Park meet on the bus and it’s definitely not love at first sight. Their daily interaction sharing their love for music and comic books grows a relationship they both need. Even though they know first love doesn’t last forever, they sure hope it does.
The Peeps: There are some great side characters in this book, but the obvious stars are the title holders. Eleanor is quirky and overweight. She becomes an instant target for ridicule when she walks on the bus. Park is half-Asian, deeply in love with alternative rock, and reads comic books. It’s hard to write more about these characters. Not because the book didn’t have great details, but the book’s charm comes from getting to know them piece by piece. If I give you too much about who they are, I risk taking away the chance for you to fall in love with them.
I loved these characters. They weren’t perfect and at times they frustrated me. All that didn’t matter. When it came to the end, I wanted more than anything for them to love each other forever. Their interactions weren’t always sweet or comfortable, which made it more of a slow build to get to the place where you want their happily ever after.
The Ending (spoiler alert): Eleanor’s step-dad finds out she’s been lying about where she’s been and he’s on a rage to find her. Fearing for her safety, she must leave Park and she flees to Minnesota to live with her uncle. My heart is still breaking. They were so sweet, so perfect, so saving each other from their previous worlds. I found myself wondering why Eleanor made it a clean break. Why didn’t she keep up the contact with Park and live happily ever after? Because that wasn’t her world. She didn’t have nice things. Happy endings probably always seemed like a fantasy.
And this is why I loved the novel so much. There were the little details which struck a deep chord. By the end, I knew these characters and wanted the best for them. My heart broke with Park’s when the lines told about Eleanor’s silence. I wished for them to make it back together and continue the lives they should’ve had. Is there a bigger compliment to a book?
If you want to see beautiful artwork from the artist who turned me onto this book, check out Simini Blocker. I’ve been checking out her work and chatting occasionally about music for a while. Her art amazes me. I wait for the day I have enough money to commission her for something. I don’t know what. But I know it will be fantastic!
What I Cooked Up: How do you show love? With a mixed tape of course. It took me a little while to figure it out, but once I did, there was nothing else more fitting. I remember when I was fifteen and a boy made me a mixed tape. It was filled with music, not my style, but that didn’t matter. He took the time to start, listen, and stop each song until there were 12 or so on each side. When Park did it for Eleanor, I knew I was in love. Here are a few cassette tapes which are really pieces of their love.