Friday, May 20, 2011

Books 147: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

At this point I think it's safe to say I've gotten into a pattern of bringing up books that have been or are soon being turned into movies. Let's just face the facts here. But it's not my fault that movie producers apparently haven't thought of very many original ideas lately, is it? Haha.

Which brings me to The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. We learn about a freshman boy named Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age, and gender, a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teen's story. While Charlie would not be considered the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular either. He's what you would call a wallflower; he is shy and introspective and intelligent beyond his years, despite not being very savvy in the art of socializing. Charlie encounters the same struggles that many kids face in high school. Making friends, first crushes, family tensions, deaths of loved ones, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs, as well as dealing with his best friend's recent suicide.

"And all the books you've read have been read by other people. And all the songs you've loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that's pretty to you is pretty to other people. And you know that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing 'unity'. It's like when you are excited about a girl and you see a couple holding hands, and you feel so happy for them. And other times you see the same couple, and they make you so mad. And all you want is to always feel happy for them because you know that if you do, then it means you're happy, too."

I read this book for the first time in my freshman year of high school and I wasn't incredibly blown away, but I decided that, in preparation for the movie that I think is coming out in 2012, I should try rereading it one more time to refresh my memory. I've heard so many people express their love for this book over the years, and I was thinking that perhaps my opinion of it would change this time around. For some reason I can't seem to be able to make myself feel the exact same way. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about Chbosky's style just doesn't agree with me for some reason. Not to say I didn't enjoy this book, cause I did! Just not as much as I wish I would have. But don't take my word for it, because you might end up absolutely adoring this book to pieces. Read it and see for yourself. :)

I'll definitely be seeing the movie, too, to compare them and all. It's starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, which is certainly sounding like a promisingly good cast. Since the book is set near the Pittsburgh area, which is in fact where I live, it's been kind of exciting to hear about places that they're filming at. I'm determined to somehow get Emma Watson's autograph. Somehow....


  1. I can't wait for the movie. I loved the book. I just never thought of someone like Logan in the main character part.

  2. One of my favorite books! I'm excited about this movie as well.

  3. I know what you mean, about something off about his style of writing. Actually, I didn't like this book at all. I couldn't even finish it. I got the impression that Charlie had some sort of mental problem, like some form of autism, honestly. I suppose I could try reading it again 0.0