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all hearthfires & holocausts

eating books. bleeding words.

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R.J. Palacio
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Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell Win a signed hardcover of ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell on The Midnight Garden!Part of me wants to quote the entirety of John Green's NYT review of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and just call it a day, because he said everything I'm thinking anyway.But I'll just echo this: you've read this book before. You've read the Misfit Boy meets the New Girl With Issues story before. You know the Big Girl Finds Love book by heart. You've read all about The Struggles of the Minority Boy in Middle America. But you've never read it quite like this before.Set during one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is a revelation of what YA contemporary can be. It's gritty. It's foul-mouthed. It's awkward. It's real. There are no great philosophical speeches showcasing their elevated vocabularies. Neither of them do anything particularly special. Except love each other in such an ordinary way it makes you remember just exactly how extraordinarily, wonderfully painful that feeling of first love is.If he were to look up now, he’d know exactly how stupid she was. She could feel her face go soft and gummy. If Park were to look up at her now, he’d know everything.He didn’t look up. He wound the scarf around his fingers until her hand was hanging in the space between them. Then he slid the silk and his fingers into her open palm.And Eleanor disintegrated.---Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Liking holding something complete, and completely alive.The build between Eleanor and Park is so quiet, so gradual, every tiny development is like a thunderclap shattering a still night. I want to fold up every hard-fought, hard-won word between them and carry them around in my pocket for safekeeping. (And their fragile, earnest little hearts, too.)I feel at once as though I could go on forever about this book, but I want you to experience it for yourself. (I feel bad even posting that quote.) I want you to experience every moment of tension, or hesitancy, of joy. Of pain, and fear, and bravado. I want you to feel their strength and their passion. I want you to feel UNSETTLED. And then, when you’re all done and are bursting to talk to someone about how much you loved it, I want you to come find me so we can discuss what is probably the most romantic line I’ve ever read. Sigh.