Monday, November 5, 2012

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

about book:

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 its 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 the 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:

"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."

I am in love with this book!  I am in love with that quote! Seriously, I am.  I heart the perks of being a wallflower.  It is simply one of the best books I have ever read.  I can't believe that I waited until now to read this book - what the frack!?!  The book came out ages ago and I waited this long - CRAZY!  Well, at least I have finally read it and let me just say that OMG!, I am so happy I did.  There is just something about this book that speaks to you and touches you in a way that leaves you feeling nostalgic for your youth; and in love with an author who has captured the angst and complexities of high school life so accurately and truthfully.  This is a book that should be read by all teens (actually, it should be read by everyone).  It is that kind of book - a must read.  In fact, I'm sending my fifteen-year old cousin a copy of it ASAP.

Okay, so what is the story about?  Well, its about a boy named Charlie who happens to be starting his freshman year of high school.  He's a bit of a loner.  His best friend has just committed suicide and he's feeling a bit adrift.  His family is around, but not really - his big brother is away at college playing football;  his older sister is also in high school, but has her own drama to deal with; and his parents are busy with work and the household.  Its a pretty lonely existence that Charlie has eked out for himself- school, book club with his English teacher and a "friend" he writes letters to.  Its through this "friend" of his that we learn so much about Charlie and high school life - you see, Charlie writes about pretty much everything that is happening to him and around him to this "friend".  He writes about the books he is asked to read by his English teacher; the two new friends he makes that bring him into their social circle; the abusive boyfriend his sister continues to date behind their parents' backs; his feelings for Sam, one of his new friends; and the fight he gets into defending his new friend, Patrick.  This is Charlie's story of firsts.  And it is also the story of how Charlie was able to remember what happened to his Aunt Helen and between him and Aunt Helen, that has caused him to remain a bit disconnected from people for so long.  By confronting his past, Charlie finds himself looking forward to his future and what the next three years of high school will bring. 

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a well written, engaging novel filled with unforgettable characters, memorable moments, and a killer soundtrack (seriously, the songs mentioned in the book are amazing - I dug out my old Smiths cds to listen to afterward.)  This book will leave you feeling nostalgic and inspired.  It is a brilliant look into the world of high school and all its complexities, hierarchies, and social dramas.  Chbosky really captures the essence of high school with this book - you will feel as if you were transported back in time to your youth.  Or at least I did - I was reminded of Dr. Martens, grunge music, butterflies in my stomach, and drama club. Cripes, I feel old. LOL! 

This is one book that I am happy to recommend to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read.  I consider it one of my favorite books of 2012 and I'm positive that it will become one of my favorite re-reads.  Happy reading!


Ti said...

I read this one before I was blogging so sadly, no review but I loved it too!!

Nadia said...

Ti, it was such a great book! Glad you enjoyed it, too!

Jennifer Hartling said...

Great review, great post!! I read this for the first time this year as well and I cannot believe I waited so long!!!

Nadia said...

Jennifer, I know! Its crazy we waited so long. Well, at least we read it and enjoyed it. Such a great book!

bermudaonion said...

I'm going to see the movie today and I'm really looking forward to it.

Framed printer said...

I didn't even REALISE this was a book! I just kept seeing the film ads on the sides of buses. Thanks for the review :)

Nadia said...

bermudaonion, I'm jealous! The movie didn't come to a theater nearby, so I'm going to have to wait for dvd. Definitely let us know how the movie turns out. Exciting!

Framed printer, yep it was a book first ;)

Tom Cunliffe said...

Well, that's a glowing review - it sounds like a fascinating read. Funnily enough I am reading a similar themed book at the moment by Thomas Glavinic. So many books so little time!

Aarti said...

I have this one on my shelf but haven't picked it up yet. I got it at a banned book event, and only afterwards realized how popular it is! Glad you loved it.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I've wanted to read this for awhile now and I just need to get a hold of a copy. Great review.
2 Kids and Tired Books

Bellezza said...

I love your enthusiasm for this novel which I have only heard about but never read. Its themes are appealing to me, for who hasn't felt those awkward/lonely/disconnecting feelings (even if some don't admit it).

Vintage Reading said...

Mentioning The Smiths has sold it to me! I adored Morrissey when I was younger - still do actually!

Lisa said...

Well, damn girl, I need to go pull this one off Miss H's bookshelf and get to it! Then maybe I can convince her to finally pick it up!

Nadia said...

Tom, thanks! And you are so right, there are too many books and barely enough time to get to them all ;)

Aarti, you will love it! I never realized how popular it was either, until I read it and then heard about the film.

Holly, its such a great book - definitely check it out! Thanks!

Bellezza, thanks! I have to admit that I really loved the book and so my enthusiasm for it got the best of me ;) And yes, that is exactly why I loved the book - it is so relatable on so many levels. Loved it!

Vintage Reading, I know, right? Who doesn't love The Smiths! I still listen to them all the time ;)

Lisa, do it! You will love it! And she will, too ;)