“Tell us, why has Romeo and Juliet survived four hundred years?”
“Because,” he said quietly, looking at his desk, “because people want to remember what it’s like to be young? And in love?”
Young love. It’s something we’ve all experienced and got a taste of, something most of us have forgotten… a distant memory, a whisper, a soft melody from the past. Reading Eleanor & Park was like going back to that childhood, when everything was so simple yet important, and when love was just… love.
Eleanor and Park are two very different individuals who somehow found each other amidst all the innocent chaos of childhood. Two misfits who wonderfully fit each other, even if everyone around them thought otherwise. They reminded me of how it felt like to fall in love for the first time, to discover those emotions and foreign feelings—to fall for someone just because. No criteria, no standards, no logic, no need for reasons. Adults always say relationships and love developed at that age are just child’s play, puppy love, nothing to be taken seriously, and most definitely not true love. But somehow, reading this book made me realize how that kind of love can actually be the most genuine of all.
This book has both the spirit of Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl and the heart of A.S. King’s Please Ignore Vera Dietz. It’s a light read but definitely heavy with substance. It can make readers remember something they thought they had lost. Rainbow Rowell couldn’t have put it any better when a character asked why Romeo and Juliet survived for four hundred years.
Because people want to remember what it’s like to be young, and in love.
Eleanor & Park will make you remember.