Pocket Books: paperback published 2009: 231 pages.
‘I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they’re here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day… or wondering who did the breaking and wondering why.’
Charlie is a freshman, and while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way 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. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes at time to see what it looks like from the dancefloor.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
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This is a stream-of-consciousness type writing, often likened to The Catcher in the Rye. But, I’ve never liked Catcher and I loved this. I often struggle with SOC novels, but this one is quite a simple concept, which makes it very easy to read and much more enjoyable. You fall in love with Charlie, because he has such a simple outlook in life, but seems to understand much more than he lets on. The ending is sort of bittersweet, which I like from books – I like reading something that seems to be just a snapshot of life, that there was something before you started reading, and the story continues even when you stop, and that’s what happens with Perks. Apparently this is now being made into a film, which I’ve got mixed feelings about; I’m not sure this can be made as a film, mainly because it’s a series of letters, but also it’s far too complex. But then again, Chbosky is writing the screenplay, so maybe he knows what he’s doing. I also heard a rumour that Emma Watson is going for the lead female role – NOT GOOD. Emma Watson is definitely not the main female character. Anyhoo – this could be a love or hate book for most people; I think you have to be in the right mood for this book. It’s quite a melancholy story in the end, which is what makes it good, and I guess what also makes it sound like Catcher.
Next book: I can’t help it… It’s going to have to be A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin… I miss the Starks!