One extraordinary love.
Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.
Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. ”
This book was very underwhelming in my opinion.
After reading Fangirl by this author back in February (you can find my review of it here) and absolutely loving it, I expected to love this book just as much.
But that wasn’t the case.
Since I listened to this on audio, let’s start off with the narration. I think both narrators did a good job a narrating the story. I enjoyed both of their voices that brought the characters to life. No complaints in that aspect.
Then going into the characters, I really could connect with Eleanor. She is plus size and as someone who is also plus size, it is always great to see that element of myself represented in books. I can’t imagine what Eleanor must have been thinking about in her head with everything that was happening with her mom and Richie (especially the way Richie was treating Eleanor himself). I just sounded horrible and I would have hated to be put in that type of situation. As far as my thoughts on Park, I think he was just an ok character. He seemed kind of like a bad-boy kind of character, which I normally don’t mind but for some reason just didn’t work in this story. I don’t know, his character just didn’t seem right for this particular story.
Going into the romance aspect, I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. At times, I found it a bit cringy. It just seemed to me like Park was a little too in love with Eleanor (if that makes an since). There were some cute moments but overall, I just don’t know if I really enjoyed it.
Then going into the plot, this is where the majority of my problems with this book lie. I found it EXTREMELY predictable. I pretty much saw the twists and turns coming right from the first page. It wasn’t terrible but like I said, it was way too predictable. I also hated that there was so much fat-shaming towards Eleanor. As someone who is also plus size, as I mentioned earlier, I hated the fact that that element was included
Finally talking about the diversity elements, there was some good representation. Like I talked about earlier, I think including the fact that Eleanor is plus size is great. I think that representation was done well. Then we have Park who is half-Korean. I can’t speak on how well this representation was done myself, but from what I have heard from own-voices reviewers, it has been done somewhat well.
Overall, this book was a huge let down for me. Maybe I just went in with too high expectations and I’m partly to blame but this book was just not as good as the other work I have read by this author.