Even if you don’t teach teenagers, you’ve probably been a teenager at some point and also, probably, in love. Possibly both at the same time. My point is, while ELEANOR & PARK is a “young adult” book, it tells a story we can all relate to: two teens who are treated as outsiders by their peers and have some family problems gradually become friends and then can’t get enough of each other. Come to think of it, this happens to us adult-adults, too. Which explains why we remain optimistic in spite of the odds (OK, yes: by “we” I mean “I”).
The only thing I would add is that unlike Romeo & Juliet, this book has a perfect ending. Seriously. One of the most brilliant endings ever. Nicely done, Ms. Rowell!