Eleanor & Park is the second Rowell book I read. I read Attachments last October and even though it was a bit weird (because of the sort of stalker-ish guy) I loved every part of it. In my short review I said her work is 'a Stephanie Perkins of adult sweet romances'.
In a world of insta-love Rainbow delivers a stellar story about two misfits. During their bus rides they start to read comics together and listen to Park's Walkman. Eleanor lives with her mother, stepfather and 3 other siblings. Her stepdad is a abusing bastard, mom is just taking it and her siblings are tattle tales. On the other side we have Park and his biggest concern is to learn how to drive a stick.
I'd love to give you more insight about the whole story itself but I'm afraid I'll reveal way too much so you're just going to have to trust my word for it. After all, I'm not one of those easily impressed readers. Hell, check my average GR rating. It's embarrassingly low.
It's hard to explain Rainbow's magic. You're either her fan or not. Her books are on my auto-buy list. If you don't mind reading a slow and steady young adult contemporary romance and love authors like Sara Zarr, Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Ockler or Sarah Dessen. Basically, any author with an S in the name will do. :P