Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Originally Published: February 26, 2013
“All her bones seemed more purposeful than other people’s. Like they weren’t just there to hold her up; they were there to make a point.“
“She looked up at his face, even though she knew how that was going to feel, like someone was hooking her insides out through her chest.”
“She tried not to look mad–but she’d rather look mad than look like she’d spent all night thinking about how beautiful his lips were.”
“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heart-beat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.“
“As soon as he touched her, he wondered how he’d gone this long without doing it. He rubbed his thumb through her palm and up her fingers, and was aware of her every breath.“
“Or maybe, he thought now, he just didn’t recognize all those other girls. The way a computer drive will spit out a disk if it doesn’t recognize the formatting.”
“Park couldn’t imagine what his face had looked like when he touched Eleanor. Like somebody taking the first drink in a Diet Pepsi commercial. Over-the-top bliss.”
“There was no stopping the tears now. ‘You always ask that. Why. Like there’s an answer for everything. Not everybody has your life, you know, or your family. In your life, things happen for reasons. People make sense. But that’s not my life. Nobody in my life makes sense…’“
“Because all her feelings for him–hot and beautiful in her heart–turned to gobbledygook in her mouth.“
“Park had the sort of face you painted because you didn’t want history to forget it.”
“If she showed him how much she needed him, he’d run away.”
“It was cold and half dark, Eleanor could see Park’s breath. She resisted the urge to try to swallow it.”
“Was there any place so horrible that she wouldn’t go there to be with Park?“
“Eleanor was right: She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”
“‘There’s no reason to think we’re going to stop loving each other,’ he said. ‘And there’s every reason to think that we won’t.'”
“And her skin was apparently covered with super-powered nerve endings that hadn’t done a damn thing her whole life, but came alive like ice and fire and bee stings as soon as Park touched her.“
“He tried to remember how this had happened–how she went from someone he’d never met to the only one who mattered.“
“Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under.” (via OverDrive)