GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction (16+)
SYNOPSIS (from goodreads.com):
Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is navigating through the strange worlds of love, drugs, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, and dealing with the loss of a good friend and his favorite aunt.
REVIEW: I first heard about The Perks of Being a Wallflower during Banned Books week. The title alone draws me to the book because, well growing up I was a bit of a wallflower myself, and felt that I could relate to the book. After reading a few reviews, I sort of backed off though – because I’m not real big into reading sad books, and it sounded like this book had the potential of being sad. Of course in my mind I come up with all of the worst case scenarios and just know I don’t want to read about it. If you are like me in this – let me put your mind at ease just a bit. No one in this book that wasn’t already dead dies in the end. It has some tough situations and topics, but it’s worth the read. Trust me.
Charlie is the perfect mix of a normal 9th grader and extremely awkward teenager. This is just another way that I felt like I could relate to him as read the book. As a young teenager, I was oblivious about so many things – innocent really. I was not, however, as quick to try unknown things as Charlie was. And, as emotional as my baggage goes, mine was not near as heavy as Charlies was in the end either.
The book contains exploration of drugs, alcohol, sex, and even homosexuality – none of these are the main topic or point of the book. I feel that their point in the book was more about being a teenager and trying to find yourself and understand who you were and why. And though it does include all of the things said above (which is why I included 16+ in my genre) – I’m not so sure that the age distinction is true. Usually I get a little sensitive with those topics being so prominent in a young adult book, but I almost wonder if this book might help other teenagers realize that yes, other people have the same thoughts and concerns, but would also help those of us who weren’t so lucky to be the popular kid, the beauty of the school, or just simply blessed to be able to make friends easily – that yes, there are kids who are “different” but they are people with feelings and thoughts, and the capacity to love and be loved and…I just don’t know. I remember how hard high school was for me, and outside of some of the mental things – I could really, really, really relate to who Charlie was in the High School scheme of things; I was Charlie.
All of that being said – I am curious to see the movie coming out in 2012(?). I’m curious to see what they do with the characters, and honestly to see what things are changed and what things will be staying the same. I also love that Logan Lerman was cast as Charlie, and Emma Watson as Sam. I will have a hard time watching of those actors do any kind of drugs – so there is a large part of me that is hoping it is left out of the movie, but other than that I’m hoping things are left true to the novel.
2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky”
Ooh, I totally want to read this. The characters sound like my friends from high school. Yup, all fishnets and RHPC. Thanks for the review!
Yayy! This is one of my top favorites, so I'm glad you liked it. As for the movie, I'm excited and a little nervous. I hope they do well, because I'd hate to be disappointed. Plus, those actors aren't who I pictured the characters to be at all. 😛