First, Park has the most brilliant parents ever. They’re not perfect. They’re no better at communicating than real parents are, but they’re so darned loveable. That moment when Park’s dad says “doesn’t seem like much of a plan, but I can’t think of a better one,” is my favourite part of the whole book. (I know. John Green already said this. He said “two of the best-drawn adults I can remember in a young adult novel.” But I wanted to say it, too. So just shush.)
Second, Park’s driving lessons? I think his dad and my dad took the same “how to teach your kid to drive” correspondence course. And Tina and Steve? I went to school with them. And the really sweet but totally ineffectual counsellors? Yup, had them. The book is packed with moments that ring true.
Third, Park. Could we just stop a moment so I can sigh over Park? When they (being everyone) tell parents (being me) that you have to teach your kid all you can before he’s 12, then hope it sticks, the ideal result they (me) are hoping for is Park. I’m sure this is not the way readers are supposed to be thinking about Park, because, well, the readers are supposed to be teenagers. Still, if my son grew up just like him, I’d be a happy mom.
If you haven’t read it yet, go get yourself a copy. John Green says so.