Monday, 9 February 2015

REVIEW 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky

Goodreads Synopsis:

"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 year 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 mix 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 he 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.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up."

Hello Elementareaders!

I don't think it’s possible to read ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and not fall in love with Charlie. He’s just the sweetest most honest character I've ever read.

I saw the film when it came out a couple of years ago and I absolutely loved it. The book almost read like a novelisation of the film, but not one of those ones that just states what happened with no elaboration, it was like a very descriptive and more fleshed out version of the film. I think this is largely due to the fact that the author of this novel, Stephen Chbosky also wrote the screenplay and directed the film.

‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ is a coming of age story that centres around Charlie and his first year of high school. The novel is written like a series of letters that Charlie is writing to his friend (the reader) about his experiences during that year.

Charlie is a bit of a loner. He is not unpopular and bullied, but he isn't popular either. He makes the transition to high school having no friends. He is essentially a wallflower, socially awkward and very much the type of person to sit back and listen rather than get involved. Charlie becomes close with his English teacher who encourages him to ‘participate’, a sentiment which Charlie very much takes to heart. Whilst trying to ‘participate’ by going to a football game, Charlie meets Patrick and Sam, a brother and sister who are seniors and becomes good friends with them.

Charlie is accepted into their social group and suddenly finds himself being invited to parties, and falling in love with the beautiful Sam even though she has said that he is too young for her and told him not to think of her that way.

Throughout the book Charlie really grows as a person. He has his first girlfriend (a not altogether pleasant experience for him), goes to parties, smokes, drinks and really finds out what it is like to be part of a social group. He also experiences heartbreak when all his friends graduate at the end of the year leaving him alone again.

I really like how this book is written as a series of letters through the eyes of this young boy. We really see him mature throughout the novel and the character development is just spot on. It really feels like it has been written by a high school student and is such an enjoyable read. The character all feel so real and I fell in love with and cared about them all.

I would give this book 5 stars :)

Let me know your thoughts about this book in the comments!

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