Hope everyone has a wonderful new year!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Perks of being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky 
Series : ---
Publisher : MTV Books
Publication Date : February 1, 1999
How Received : Borrowed 
Rate : 5+
Summary : (as quoted from Amazon) 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. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 
This 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 first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.
Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

My thoughts :
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the most amazing novels I have ever read. The events in the book are described through letters from a 15 year old boy using the alias “Charlie” while writing to an unknown “friend” who is a person he’s never met, but has heard is a good listener through one of his real friends. The letters, spanning from August 1991August 1992, allow Charlie to unload his thoughts, feelings, and experiences freely. We learn that his sister is in an abusive relationship, and that he himself is a very shy guy, and has problems interacting with people normally. His letters take us through the ups and downs of his life, and the complex relationships he has with both his friends and his family. I was especially surprised by his true relationship with his deceased Aunt, Helen. He always has these weird blank outs when he thinks about her, and we don’t find out why until the last few pages of the novel. The thing I really loved about Charlie was how amazingly honest he was. He didn’t attempt to sugar coat his life, and he said things how he saw them. His sister was a complex character, and even though it took her a long time to grow up, by the end of the novel, I was content in the knowledge that she’d finally learned from her experiences. Besides those two, I really loved Charlie’s two best friends, Sam and Patrick. Sam was definitely Charlie’s love interest, and even though they both tried not to “think about each other that way”, it was obvious that they loved each other dearly. Sam was also a great mentor, and offered Charlie great advice, help, and most importantly, an unconditional friendship. Patrick, Sam’s brother, was one of the funniest characters in the book. His charm, class, and instant likeability provided the perfect addition to a very diverse cast of characters, and gave a view into different kinds of friendship, and what being a friend truly means. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an outstanding book about what it means to sit on the edge of life, and what it means to actually live it ; a must read.

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