This was my second time through Eleanor & Park, and I picked it up because I had already read all the books in the So Popular! bingo category, and had recently re-read Attachments, so this book, why not!
It’s still great, first of all, but also, it’s still my least favorite Rainbow Rowell book. I used to have it rated at five stars because at the time I originally rated it, I had only read this book and Attachments of hers, and now I’ve read them all, so this one goes down to four. My affection for it is nowhere near Landline or Fangirl, let alone Carry On, which has now officially overtaken Attachments as my favorite of hers.
I still find the relationship between Eleanor, a chubby redheaded oddball who lives in an abusive home, and Park, a half-Korean American boy whose friends are all casually racist and don’t have any idea about it (and both Park and Eleanor accept those judgments and don’t say anything, and this is accurate also for the time). I still find the premise of this very effective. Since this is set in the 1980s, almost everybody that Park or Eleanor knows makes them feel constantly aware of their differences, and most often not in a good way.
The book is extremely well put together, with E&P navigating first love at the same they’re trying to figure out the rest of their lives. I like that book has a bittersweet ending. It feels realistic to me.
The audio version was nice, if you like audiobooks. Never gonna be my fave, though.
CBR Bingo: So Popular!