Author: Stephen Chbosky
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Published: August 14, 2013
Retail Price: $14.00
Rating: 5 stars
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.” – Goodreads
I absolutely loved this book! For a quick synopsis, “Charlie” is writing to a friend who we don’t know, about what is going on in his life as he starts his first year of high school. We watch him go through the motions of making new friends, falling in loving, and learning what its like to make mistakes.
I loved the fact that it was raw and emotional and true. I am nothing like Charlie, yet, I related to a lot of what he’s going through. I feel like a lot of different people can relate to lots of different aspects of this book. It was real, a real high school experience (for some) while at the same time being fictional. It taught life lessons too, throughout the whole story.
These lessons also added to the plot which wasn’t the most well developed (because this story was highly character driven). Everything flowed well together to make up a story of learning. But what a character driven tale. I can remember so much about each and every character. That’s how well Charlie described them and their every antic and opinion towards everything. Although there wasn’t much development within their characters, I still enjoyed reading about their journey.
None of this was cliche, which made it that much more easier to read. I couldn’t predict anything that was going to happen, it was original in my opinion. Nothing was overused to the point of dislike either.
I want to talk about a trope that comes from this quote in the book (this is not a spoiler):
“My dad played college baseball for two years, but he has to stop when Mom got pregnant with my brother” (52).
This trope (which may not even be considered a trope) is more often seen in movies rather than books. It always happens that a pregnancy ruins the dads plans to be a pro athlete. It never works out to be pregnant. I want to see a story where they work through it. It does work out although (of course) they have to struggle. Or where it ultimately “ruins” the mother’s life and goals and plans (like it can and does).
One last thing, if you love to read books or listen to music suggested to you from books, this is the book to read! I have to get on to listening to a lot of music and reading a lot of books because so many were mentioned in here that Charlie loved and now I want to read them and listen.
“the books were a little too old for me, but I liked them so he just shrugged and let me read” (5).
“It is now my favorite book of all time, but then again, I always think that until I read another book” (9).
“We accept the love we think we deserve” (24).
“I read books, and I think I am the people in the book” (29).
“It was like when you see a movie… during the day, and when you leave the movie, you can’t believe it’s still daylight outside” (36).
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite” (39).
“Mary was working for a living, and just because she’s not married, it doesn’t mean that she is worthless” (76).
“and even if she says no, and really means yes, then quite frankly she’s playing games and isn’t worth the price of dinner” (124).
“It’s much easier not to know things sometimes” (144).
“I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else had it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have” (211).