If you love realistic YA fiction, you've got to put Eleanor and Park on your to-read list. It's really something special. It's a love story, it's a gritty family drama, it's a story about bullying and outcasts -- all woven together with a magic and subtlety that astonished me. Usually books like this -- books about kids that don't fit in, kids who have tough home lives, kids who are picked on -- are written with a fair amount of hand-wringing and fist-shaking. Which is okay with me, because these are important issues, to be sure.In contrast, Eleanor and Park just shows us these two characters and their worlds. Eleanor is the new girl at school. Her hair is too red and her clothes are too odd and she's immediately a target for the mean kids on the bus. Park doesn't really fit in either -- he's half-Korean in a school that's, as the book describes it, "seriously white." But Park flies under the social radar. He smiles at the kung fu jokes and puts on his headphones to drown out all the noise.Eleanor and Park definitely gets that "first love" feeling just right: the desperation, the scheming, the awkwardness, the pure magic, the inevitable heartbreak. Realistic. Poignant. Beautifully subtle. Don't miss this one!Read the full review on my blog, YA Romantics.