I'm *almost* caught up on my book reviews now, which is basically a miracle. I'm only a couple behind now and hopefully they'll be up soon! I'm so ready for my Goodreads target to actually show where I really am.
I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell a few months ago and it felt like a complete breath of fresh air for me, but it wasn't until I read Eleanor and Park that I realised why. Rowell's protagonists are the characters that would be the best friend or the sister or the acquaintance of the main character in another book. Her main characters aren't stereotypically beautiful, or popular, or super clever, or all of the above. They're the people that get overlooked in life, and in literature.
Eleanor is a chubby ginger girl whose family are utterly poor. She shares a bedroom with all of her siblings, she wears second hand clothes and if anything gets broken it has to be fixed. When she starts going to a new school she very soon becomes the target of bullies. With an abusive stepdad at home and these girls making her life a misery at school, there's not much for Eleanor to look forward to.
... That is until she meets Park. Park's someone that the bullies leave alone (it may or may not have something to do with his incredible martial arts skills). He's scared that talking to Eleanor on the bus will make him the bullies' new target, but he's intrigued by her.
Could Park help Eleanor see the light in her life? Or is he going to look down on her like everyone else does ...
I loved this young adult novel: the main characters were different to the ones that always seem to crop up in other books, and it made this such an interesting read.