Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. St. Martin's Press, 2013.
Park is a half-white, half-Korean boy in 1986 Nebraska. Eleanor has just been allowed back into her home after her alcoholic stepfather kicked her out for a year. She is trying to survive school, take care of her family, and keep her stepfather's filthy hands off of her. One day she ends up sitting next to Park on the bus on the way to school. The rest of the book follows Eleanor and Park as they get to know each other and begin to fall in love.
I hated the first chapter of this book. 4 pages, 14 cuss words, and someone is called a retard. I find extreme use of foul language to be quite off-putting. I almost put it down right then. But it got better. I actually ended up enjoying this story, to the point where I came home from work and opened the book, reading right through dinner and into the evening. It's not a happy book, but it is good, and while I didn't want the book to end as it did, the ending is satisfying. For anyone who grew up in an abusive home, however, this book might be triggering, so please take care when you read.