This book has received a lot of really great attention. My dad read it before me(which I usually don't allow, because he is anything but a spoiler-free guy) and liked it better than Love and Other Perishable Items
, which he compared it to because he read them around the same time, and because they are romance-type stories where the characters aren't exactly together in the end, but you have hope that maybe they will be. I can't say I agree with him, because LaOPI stuck in my head and crawled around in there for a long time (I still think about it pretty frequently), and since the day I put down E&P, I haven't really thought much about it.
I did like Eleanor & Park
though. I enjoyed the love story, I really liked that Eleanor wasn't your typical hot teen girl MC. I was kind of worried in they beginning that she'd be another one of those girls who think
they're "plain" and unattractive but it turns out they have a culturally acceptable beauty that everyone else can see, but it didn't; and I liked that Park still found her really attractive. The abuse storyline was creepyily realistic, and fit in with the love story, because Eleanor's relationship with Park gives her the experience of a healthy family dynamic that then gives her the courage, I think, to do what she needs to at the end.
So, well-written book. Thoughtful. Engaging. Will be winning big awards next January? I don't really see it, but I'm always wrong about these things.