Book Review #20: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky’s haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, and grown into a cult sensation with over one million copies in print.

It is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where all you need is the perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Chbosky has created a deeply affecting novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days  of growing up.”

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” That quote has been so overused and shunned on tumblr, I was willing to give in to the hate. A few months ago,  picked up this book in the Coles at my local mall. I saw the blue sticker that told me that it was “soon to be a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson.” I figured since I heard about the movie and I love those two actors and it would be interesting to see how they work together, I might as well read the book. And knowing me, if there’s a movie based on a book and I’ve heard about it, I have to read it. Maybe it’s my inner urge to point out the differences and cringe, (that reminds me if you have ever read the Percy Jackson series and love it dearly as I do, and are sensitive to changes, don’t watch the movie, also starring Logan Lerman). Anyways, I went to the cashier and the guy there told me that it was a really good book.

Since I have tons of books to read and series to catch up on, I picked this book up in the midst of trying and failing to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and finishing reading Clash of Kings. It’s a pretty thin book, only a bit over 200 pages, so it was a break from the gargantuan 800 some-odd pages of Clash of Kings.

Also, I brought this book into my French class one day, to read in my spare time, and two of my classmates said it was really good. My teacher even picked it up to look at it, and wanted to know more about it. So I guess from all this praise, it must be worth it. Worth reading I mean. And it was.

Despite its length, and apparent “overrated-ness” according to the reaction of the quote above, it really packs a big punch. In a good way of course. I didn’t have a problem with the length. It’s been a while that a book actually made me truly feel and bond with the main character.

Image via Wikipedia

Charlie, in a few words, is an interesting cookie. Yes, I’m describe him as a cookie, (it is quite early, and I wanted to get this review done and not procrastinate posting it like for Mockingjay). He’s one of the only characters I’ve really seen so far not interested in, or wanting sex. He is satisfied with holding hands, or maybe even a kiss. He is very sweet, does what he’s told. Some have called him autistic, which would be weird because wouldn’t his parents have known or found out? It might fit, I don’t know.

The reason I connected with this character is that he felt like a real fifteen year-old. He made mistakes. The way he wrote and acted was like I was riding his roller coaster with him, feeling every bump and jerk, going through the emotions he felt.

This book also tackled many issues; abuse, sex, drugs, homosexual relationships. They may not be new subjects, but they were effective and fit with the story, and not just thrown in like some novels. These subjects shaped certain characters and gave them depth.

Throughout the entire book I was trying to figure out who he was writing to, going through the list of possible known characters. Then, going over this in my head, I figured it out. He is writing to us. Whoever is reading, whoever wants to truly explore his story.

His story made me want to read on, I was reading every spare moment I had, wanting to delve deeper into his mind. It came to the point where I was reading before school and that my mind was still stuck in the story, experiencing it and it coming up in my thoughts.

There was never a dull or boring moment in this story, every moment made me eager to find out what was going to happen next.

I recommend this book to anyone with patience. Charlie may ramble sometimes, but he knows what he is talking about. I won’t guarantee you that you will feel something when you read this book or even like it. It all depends on you. But, from what I felt reading this book,  give it a chance. Maybe, as cheesy as this may sound, you might feel truly infinite.

My Rating

Also, here is the official trailer. It made me excited!

 

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