The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Stand-alone Novel
- Young Adult; Contemporary
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 a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
Read: Feb 1st 2017
Rating: 3 / 5
Although I understand why other people might love this book and why teachers recommend/want their students to read this book – I just want to say that I dislike it very much (I might even hate it a bit).
I didn’t like this book – mainly – because it made me feel bad. I know books are supposed to make you feel things other than positive things and I have felt emotionally wrecked by some books and there have been books that left me thinking about them for months. But I guess I simply didn’t like the way this book made me feel. I think it’s just too raw, too negative for me. My overall feeling towards Charlie is sadness and pity and I don’t think that’s what you should feel about a main character.
First of all, the writing style made it a bit dull. I understand that Charlie used these letters as his personal diary but the rants and the fact that he got sidetracked a lot and just started sharing stories of something really irrelevant out of nowhere was very irritating.
Secondly, it was hard to tell if the other characters were that well-developed or not because of the writing style so I won’t comment on that aspect. This happens especially with Sam – since Charlie practically idolized her but I couldn’t really get a sense of who she was, only a mere glimpse of her personality.
Patrick was the one thing that made this book enjoyable to me, to be honest. He was funny and witty, intelligent, super understanding and such a great friend. Very minor story spoiler: I kind of liked (and felt pity for) Brad at one point. I was really hoping they would get back together…
Two of my English teachers tried to get my class to read this book but ultimately we never had a chance to in either case but my tenth grade English teacher let us watch the movie in class. I liked the movie and I remember thinking that if the book was anything like it than I would like it too, but now I see that the movie is actually terrible. It doesn’t depict the most important things/emotions in the book and it makes the story look ‘light’. (It’s surprising that the movie is so bad because it was the author of the novel who wrote the screenplay.)
To sum it up, I didn’t really like this book but I’ll admit that it’s a great book (and a shitty movie) but I won’t recommend it.