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Reviews Written by
Bethany Gronberg "bethany actually" (Southern California, USA)

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Eleanor & Park
Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remember what it was like to be 16 and desperately in love?, 22 April 2012
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This review is from: Eleanor & Park (Paperback)
Set in 1986 in a working-class neighborhood of a Midwestern U.S. city, this book is funny and sad, sarcastic and sincere, and above all geeky. The title characters are both 16-year-old misfits in their working-class Omaha neighborhood. Park is half-Korean in a mostly-white part of town, and is into alternative music and comic, unlike his brother and dad who are into sports. Eleanor is big (she thinks of herself as fat) and awkward and poor, the oldest of five kids with a painfully difficult home life, and defiantly flaunts her crazy red hair and weird clothes.

They find themselves sitting together on the school bus every day. Over time they're reluctantly drawn together by X-Men and Watchmen comic books. Despite their friends' derision and their families' dismay and disapproval, they fall in love over mix tapes featuring The Cure and the Smiths. A larger, more dangerous threat looms over one of them, skillfully woven throughout the story and coming to a climax in a way that will have you reading faster and faster to find out what happens.

This story of first love---how it's almost always intense and heart-breakingly doomed, how you feel desperate and hopeless and wildly hopeful all at the same time---will take you right back to those thrilling stomachache-y days when you felt like you would suffocate under the weight of the love and lust you felt, and just holding your beloved's hand was enough to make you walk on air for weeks.

Dashing Through the Snow
Dashing Through the Snow
Price: £0.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Road trip romance, 18 Nov. 2011
This story is simply outstanding! I was practically giggling in delight the whole time I was reading, especially from the moment I figured out that this was Fred Bates's story--the Fred Bates whose honour Trevor Whitlatch was defending in Ms. Farr's second novel, "Fair Game". In this novella, we discover why Trevor was so eager and willing to help his friend out. Fred Bates is one of the most likeable characters I've ever come across, and the heroine in this story, Claudia, runs a close second. Their story is interesting and engaging. At the inevitable happy ending, you're giddy with joy right along with them.

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