the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I've been meaning to write a book review on this book since the beginning of January when I first read it, but I wanted to wait until the movie came out on iTunes.
I just want to say... Wow. This is one of my favorite books in the world, right up there with Harry Potter.
For me, there are three main reasons for this book's amazing-ness-
1) The Characters. The characters make the story. Don't they? The three main characters are Charlie, Sam, and Patrick "Nothing". In the beginning, Charlie is a quiet freshman with no friends except for an English teacher named Bill. Charlie has trouble fitting in, and no one really pays attention to him. Then he meets Sam and Patrick who are step siblings. They are wild and slightly insane, but very lovable. All of the characters are extremely life-like and so sad.
2) The Psychology and Philosophy. the perks of being a wallflower seems like a really easy read (I read it in less than three days), but the book gets into some very deep topic like rape, suicide, drugs, drinking, and the question "what is considered socially acceptable?" One of my favorite parts was Patrick's story. Patrick is gay, and he is in love with a guy who pretends to be straight. His story shows the effects of society thinking that gays are socially unacceptable and "unnatural". the perks of being a wallflower isn't all bad though, Stephen Chbosky also discusses feeling "infinite", like nothing can stop you and time has stopped; true friendship and relationships, love, and when someone should or should not speak up. There are two quotes from the perks of being a wallflower that I love- "We accept the love we think we deserve" and "And in that moment, I swear we felt infinite." There was also one sentence that completely sums up the entire book- "So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be."
3) How the story was told. The story is told through letters that Charlie writes to an anonymous Friend. In his first and last letters to the Friend, Charlie tells the reader that "she" said the Friend would understand. I always thought that the "she" might be Sam. If you've read the book, please tell me who you think "she" was. I really want to know. At first, I thought reading letters would bother me because I thought the who story would be a tell not show situation. Charlie (or rather, Stephen Chbosky) actually gets very descriptive and the story comes to life. If I was the person receiving Charlie's letters, I would feel very special.
There is only one part that I didn't like about the book. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention. Throughout the book Charlie keeps mentioning his friendship with his Aunt Helen who died in a car crash. He also says that he's getting "bad" again, but Charlie never outright says what "bad" is and why it is happening. This "bad" thing makes up the majority of the last few letters, too. I was very confused and I didn't get what "bad" was until I watched the movie. I mean, I knew there was something wrong with Charlie mentally, I just wasn't sure what or why.
Despite my inability to understand the "bad", I would still give perks of being a wallflower-
Since this was becoming a very long post, I'll probably review the movie next week.
Best of Writing,