by Rainbow Rowell
It’s 1986, and Eleanor is the new girl. She has wild hair and wild clothes and stands out, completely. She sits on the bus every day next to Park, a boy who won’t talk to her until he notices Eleanor reading his comic books over his shoulder.
John Green recommended this book, as did a friend from grad school, and still it took me too long to pick it up. The story is told in alternating chapters and we see the characters grow to like each other and then love each other through bonds of comic books and mix tapes, and then gradually through the real stuff.
This book is not an simple love story; the characters (Eleanor especially) struggle through issues ranging from typical teenage angst to more sinister circumstances. I read the book in two days. It’s hard to put down and hard to forget and makes you appreciate music and comics and people all over again.