Monday, February 27, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

BOOK DESCRIPTION: 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 first dates, family dramas, and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where all you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

MY OPINION: Before I even begin to speak about this book, I'm going to take a moment to breathe. It's been more than a week since I read the last word and I'm still shaking a little, feeling like this book is made up of things like warm air and sunlight. It's not a regular thing for me to be so consumed in a story that is told through letters. I usually don't like it and I usually don't read it and I usually want nothing to do with it. However, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this was definitely not the case.
Unless you live beneath a rock or in an isolated cabin somewhere in the woods, I assume you've heard about this book. If you've heard about it and you've read it, what did you think? If you've heard about it and you haven't read it: you should. Now.
I have never read a character that was as interesting and strange and normal as Charlie Scorsoni. He felt like a completely fleshed-out character that was living and breathing and crying between the pages of this book. I feel like I've made a new friend in him. It felt like he was writing these letters to me and I got to know him and his friends and his family, and Bill, his teacher that gives him classic novels and gets him to write essays about them. It's one of those books that leaves you feeling different. I'm not sure how Chbosky did it, but it makes you sort of see the world through new eyes.
Charlie could be anybody. He could be that boy that you saw on the train reading To Kill a Mockingbird or he could be that boy that you see everyday walking home but don't bother to talk to. It's fascinating, really.
He is so completely honest and beautiful and I have never read of somebody so completely mesmerizing. I wish that I knew him. He just thinks things that everybody must of thought at one point but he actually says them and I don't know, I think that's pretty damn wonderful. It makes you wonder about the things that go through the author's mind, doesn't it? It does for me.
I thought this book was brilliant. I really did. A lot of people think that it's overrated but I have to disagree. It deserves attention. Charlie and Patrick and Sam and Brad and Bill and every other character in this book deserves attention. I recommend this book, definitely. And if you end up not liking it, a least you'll learn of a few good songs.

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