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  1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

    Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

    Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.

    Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose

    Publish date: February 28th 2013
    Published by: Orion Publishing
    Pages: 324

    No matter where you are. No matter where you come from. You will find yourself really identifying with this book, the characters. Everything. Eleanor and Park . . . Okay, I'll admit I was a bit reluctant to read it. There was so much buzz around it, and it was hugely popular. I haven't really had a lot of good experience with popular books. But this one, this one. . . Can we just stop for a moment and just appreciate the beauty of this novel? Seriously, I feel like I am killing off any writing skills I may possess  just writing this review, but it has to be said. Eleanor and Park wa beautiful, amazing, flawless. It completely epitomises what it is to be a teenager, a misfit and to be in love with someone for the first time.

    Not only does it perfectly capture the essence of youth. It also perfectly captures the hardships of being a misfit, an outcast. The characters aren't perfect. Not by any standards. In fact, they're so flawed, so real that you feel as if you could reach right into the pages and pluck them out, fully formed.

    Eleanor and Park is written from the point of view of both interests. In this way, she manages to weave a very real and very beautiful picture of their relationship. I have never fell in love with characters, or a book so much since Harry potter. Eleanor and Park has that rare ability to worm its way into your heart and capture your soul perfectly. And the whole time, you're just reading it and you can easily find yourself in their shoes, or even remember situations much the same.

    But can we just talk about that ending? I've read so many heartbroken reviews talking about the ending. And yes, I wanted them to have a happily ever after. Of course I did. But the ending was so wholly real, so bittersweet that I couldn't think of a better way that the book could have ended. Please, I implore you, if you want to remember what it was like to be young, to be in love for the first time, then this really is the novel for you!

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