Nearly everyone I know has recommended this book at some point and mostly for the 80’s references. While it’s not a personal favorite, I can see why so many of my friends loved it. I personally enjoyed the pop culture flashbacks of cassette tapes, stonewashed mini skirts, and awkward first love. It felt like Jr. High all over again.
I think I was expecting more of a fluffy romance and wasn’t prepared for the family drama that Eleanor was dealing with. That was heartbreaking on so many levels. I wanted to reach into the pages and rescue her from her awful situation. I wanted to strangle all the adults that stood by and did nothing to help or didn’t believe her when she told them. I wanted to cheer when Park took her away to a better life. Basically, this book hit me in the feels over and over again and didn’t let up until I was finished.
I agree with another friend who said the ending felt a bit contrived. However, I don’t think it will matter to teens. I predict that this book will win the Gateway Reader award for Missouri with little competition.