1986. Lorsque Eleanor, nouvelle au lycée, trop rousse, trop ronde, s'installe à côté de lui dans le bus scolaire, Park, garçon solitaire et secret, l'ignore poliment. Pourtant, peu à peu, les deux lycéens se rapprochent, liés par leur amour des comics et des Smiths... Et qu'importe si tout le monde au lycée harcèle Eleanor et si sa vie chez elle est un véritable enfer, Park est prêt à tout pour la sortir de là.
Half-Korean sophomore Park Sheridan is getting through high school by lying low, listening to the Smiths (it s 1986), reading Alan Moore s Watchmen comics, never raising his hand in class, and avoiding the kids he grew up with. Then new girl Eleanor gets on the bus. Tall, with bright red hair and a dress code all her own, she s an instant target. Too nice not to let her sit next to him, Park is alternately resentful and guilty for not being kinder to her. When he realizes she s reading his comics over his shoulder, a silent friendship is born. And slowly, tantalizingly, something more. Adult author Rowell (Attachments), making her YA debut, has a gift for showing what Eleanor and Park, who tell the story in alternating segments, like and admire about each other. Their love is believable and thrilling, but it isn t simple: Eleanor s family is broke, and her stepfather abuses her mother. When the situation turns dangerous, Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution imperfect but believable maintains the novel s delicate balance of light and dark. Ages 13 up.