Monday, August 20, 2012
Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication: 1/1/1999, MTV Books
# of Pages: 213 (Paperback)
Source: Purchased / Own
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
This 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 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.
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 Review: I'm the type of person who has to read books before I see the movie. I don't know why. It's just who I am. And since the trailer for the movie coming out in September caught my attention, I knew I had to read this book.
Let me start off by saying that if not for the movie trailer, I doubt I would have purchased this book on my own. The cover does absolutely nothing to sell it. However, having read the book, I now see how fitting it is. This completely unassuming cover hides a coming-of-age story so simple it's practically brilliant. There are no gimmicks here, no trends, just a pure story of one boy's freshman year seen through the eyes of an immensely sympathetic and instantly likeable main character.
It's definitely a quick read--I read it in one sitting--that pulls you along. Charlie's voice is as captivating as it is simplistic. He tells you a story in a way that begs you to listen. At first he's unsure and tenous and you can sense there's a current running just beneath the surface. You know something will come to light later even if you can never get a grasp on what it will be. He grows and comes into his own in a way that--as an adult reading a YA book--made me proud of him. And even though there is sex and drugs and things that may make parents uncomfortable, they are a normal and almost necessary part of growing up and are handled carefully and honestly.
I adored this book. I absolutely could not put it down once I started reading and I recommend it to lovers of contemporary young adult fiction.