As teens, we are constantly exposed to cliché love stories about “quirky” girls who couldn’t possibly like themselves until the average blonde boy saved them. They have absolutely nothing in common and don’t particularly seem to care about each other outside of school and the local mall/movie theater. Sounds like your average middle school relationship, right?
Eleanor and Park meet on the school bus when Eleanor doesn’t have anywhere to sit, and Park begrudgingly offers her a seat next to him. (Begrudgingly meaning swearing at her and yelling to just sit down. I know, absolutely adorable.) They continue on like any other teen would in this situation: awkwardly staring at anything but each other.
This book is a great story about first love, and the fact that amazing as it may be, it never really lasts. It’s getting to know yourself as a person and understanding how to love someone else: putting their needs above your wants. But sometimes, all you want- and need- is them.