[ETA much later: Unfortunately, I, as a white person, missed some seriously racist and problematic stuff in the portrayal of Park, so please take this review with a grain of salt. Or a bag full of salt. Here’s more info on the racism issue.]
Eleanor is a big girl with flaming red hair – people notice her, especially on her first day in a new school. As she gets on the school bus, people stare and refuse to let her sit somewhere. All but Park who is usually busy with trying not to stick out, skirting along the edges of the popular crowd. He lets Eleanor sit, but otherwise ignores her, as much as she can be ignored. It’s only when he realizes that she is reading along with his comic books on the bus that they slowly, carefully start to interact.
I hardly have words for how much I loved Eleanor & Park. It made me laugh and cry and fall in love with reading all over again (which in turn made me spend an unwise amount of money at the bookstore). What more could you possibly ask for in a book?