Rainbow Rowell's YA debut novel is Eleanor & Park.
From her Q & A with Martha Schulman for Publishers Weekly:
Eleanor & Park covers a lot of ground, from difficult family situations to the way music can open up a new world. But most of all, it’s about first love. Is that what you set out to write about?--Marshal Zeringue
My motivation was to make people actually feel love, to give them a realistic view of it. If they’re young and never been in love, for them to know – yes, this how it feels. And if they’re older and they have, to feel it as a sense memory.
Emotions run high in the novel. Is it realistic?
I feel like it’s realistic. I feel things very intensely. And I also think that real life is more romantic if you allow it to be, if you don’t act like it’s immature to get excited. I want to consume love stories, but 90% of them feel totally inauthentic. When I watch a romantic comedy, I feel like they’re selling something that doesn’t exist. Two beautiful, but extremely unpleasant, people are terrible to each other for an hour, accidentally kiss, then decide to like each other during an extremely vague montage. That isn’t how...[read on]