I was a tad reluctant to start this book, surrounded by teenagers on a daily basis I’m reticent to read about teen romance. I am, however, glad I persisted and read this book in a day. We follow Eleanor and Park’s relationship as it blossoms from barely acknowledging each other’s existence to a full-blown (lovely) teenage romance. I loved both the main characters and thought they were beautifully written and realistic. They both beat to the sound of their own drum and are interesting in their own right as well as a (very cute) couple. They bond over their shared love of music and comics. The soundtrack to this book (soon to be filmed) is phenomenal and made me go back into my iPod archives to Joy Division and The Smiths. It also made me nostalgic for my Sony Walkman and cassette tapes, which accompanied me on many a journey.
Despite the premise of teen romance, there are some serious ‘dark’ threads to this story, bullying, violence, self-harm, poverty and domestic abuse are all covered throughout the book and handled well. It also raises a number of interesting questions including how much we really know about the lives of others. I won’t delve into these issues on here as the story speaks for itself, but when you realise why Eleanor is quite so uniquely dressed (and the toothbrush- don’t get me started) your heart will sink and you’ll want to climb inside the book and make everything OK.
I’m looking forward to Rainbows next book, if it’s half as good as this, it’ll be stunning.