In honor of the newly released trailer for The Perks of Being a Wallflower (see below), I thought I'd post my review of the book from when I read it last summer:
I'm exhausted. This book's so short that I finished it all in one day (it was a slow day . . . ), but I don't think I would recommend that to everyone. It's an absorbing read and it's definitely easy to get sucked in listening to Charlie's easy to read, teenage voice. But he's also an abnormal, unstable, and very angsty kid, so listening to him for hours on end can give you a bit of a headache. Just a warning. On the other hand, it's kinda nice to get through all the ups and downs (mostly downs) of his freshman year in one day. It'll leave you kinda depressed, but at least that depression wasn't spread out over a week or more.
That said, I liked it. I found Charlie believable, for the most part, though I do wish we'd gotten more insight into him by the end. Even once that bit of his past was revealed, I thought he surely had some sort of social disorder as well and I wish that had been talked about. He definitely wasn't your average kid. I could relate to him in some ways though and in the ways I couldn't, I found him interesting. I liked most of the other characters as well, despite their flaws- Patrick, Sam, Mary Elizabeth, Brad, Charlie's sister. Except for maybe Brad, I could picture all of them being kids I'd seen/known in high school.
I don't really get Charlie's relationship with Sam though. I mean, I get his crush on her, but I don't get their last night together. Why would she do that? I wish the book had gone on a bit longer, to explain . . . And why did it seem like everyone was crying all the time? I can see Charlie crying (he's obviously a sensitive guy with some issues), but it felt like every few pages, we'd see tears from someone. I don't know about you, but seeing someone crying is definitely a rarity in my life . . . And finally, why did Charlie have to love every single book Bill gave him to read? It started to feel like some obvious promoting by the author. Like he was just listing off all his favorites and making Charlie love them so that readers would go pick them up when they're done with "Perks." Seemed kinda silly.
I definitely liked the book, but I'm happy to get out of Charlie's head (at least until they make the movie!) And nearly a year later, I'm still very excited to see the movie and from what I can tell, it looks pretty well done:
Have you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Or even just watched the trailer? What do you think?
TITLE: The Perks of Being a Wallflower AUTHOR: Stephen Chbosky PUBLICATION DATE: 1 February 1999 VERDICT: 3/5 stars