I. Loved. This. Book. Seriously. I feel like I may say that too often. I need to work on that. But really. This story, with its broken characters and saving graces kept me awake at night and thinking about it well after I had finished it. It broke my heart into a thousand pieces. I laughed out loud numerous times. I cried, numerous times.
So the characters. I hated Eleanor's mom and for a time disliked Park's mom. But, they were there, in the story, ever present and existing. It's always a plus for me, especially in the contemporary genre, to see parents actually present and existing within their kid's life. I loved how real Eleanor & Park seemed to me. I felt like I was right there on the bus with them, feeling their awkwardness and nervousness as their friendship grew. The inner dialogue was just as great as the actual dialogue and I was very impressed with the honesty that Park had with himself.
The story itself...should touch anyone who reads it. Adult, teen, it doesn't matter. Even if you've never experienced the actual events that transpire within the story there's something to relate to. The time period, being bullied, being *a* bully... it's all there. In all it's shocking glory. The writing was near perfection for me. I wanted to live in it.
Read it... and if you regret it I would be surprised. I don't really have the words to describe how touched I was by this book.