Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

February 26, 2013  |  335 pages
(Rated on Sep 22, 2013)
Grade: A–    (switch to numeric scale)
L/E Ratio: 60% Literature, 40% Entertainment
Writing Quality:
Low High
Low High

Low High
Movie Potential:
Low High

Low High
Sequel Potential:
Low High
I really loved how appropriately teenaged and self-aware the characters were--which makes for sometimes-uncomfortable reading, particularly as they unravel issues of race. I loved the honest, raw romance (I remember writing a note to a boy when I was seventeen--"Dear A. Being around you makes me want to eat my own hand . . ."), the sparks, the self-conscious accidental poetry of their love-struck thoughts, Eleanor's poverty and bodily awareness, and the spot-on conversations about pop culture.  (+6 votes)