1986. Eleanor: new kid, big, awkward, crazy-curly super-bright red hair. Wants everything to just stop. Park: virtually the only Asian in school. Nerdy without being officially classified as a nerd. Wants to drown out the world. There was no reason they should be together, except for an empty bus seat and a love of X-Men. Now they’re finding about the power of first love and the powerlessness of love to overcome some obstacles.
This is smart, fun, funny, sweet, genuine, sexy (sta-sta-sta-steamy in parts!), and sad love story that will ABSOLUTELY win over anyone that believes in first love. You have to love a book where a guy tells a girl, “You can be Han Solo and I’ll be Boba Fett. I’ll cross the sky for you.” You simply have no choice. I think it could almost function as a human test. If this book doesn’t make you happy and sad all at the same time you may have to turn in your human card and join the Robot Registry. It takes two very real characters and puts you in both their heads. The book alternates between both their points of view so you see how both of them view the same situations. This really makes you feel for and root for this couple, which makes it all the more heartrending when their young love is threatened. It was also super smart to set the book in the near past. It brings in obsolete technologies like mix tapes and landline telephones that made connecting with people harder, but perhaps more personal (but that could just be my oldness showing!) Like The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman (which I LOVED as well), this book is realistic about how rare it is for teenage love to work out. So fair warning: this is a definite have a hanky handy read. Without giving TOO MUCH away, I will say that I loved the ending and it melted by cold dark heart. It is sweet sad and totally open-ended, so you can write your own ending for these kooky kiddos.
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