Rowell has me intrigued now. The first book of hers that I read (Landline) was kinda wacky, but I loved its twists and turns. This one is very, definitely, absolutely forthright - it cuts to the heart of so much teenage angst.
While I didn't relate to every single part of the story, the concept of opposites attracting, and attracting strongly, is an extraordinarily powerful message in this day and age. Eleanor and Park couldn't be more different - what they've experienced, how they live their lives, how they look, etc. And yet they still have strong attraction to each other, and what's more, are able to find a ton of common ground about what they like and don't like. That message needs to be shouted from more mountain tops.
One thing that distressed me in the acknowledgements was the intimation that the stressful home life Eleanor has to contend with is a home life that Rowell herself experienced. Having now read some interviews with her, it seems quite clear that is not true (she calls her stepdad "great" in one). But this is an example of how deeply realized her characters are. They leap off the page and into your brain and you're utterly convinced that the author has lived through this, or how can it be that well realized?
For those who have already read the book, regarding the words on the postcard... I do not want to be in the "I love you" camp because that's too... trite. On the other hand, Rowell herself says the words are hopeful, so I'm trying to figure out what they could be. "See you soon" would be nice!