Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wallflowers and High School

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Charlie is fifteen years old, and things in his life are changing. He is starting high school, his brother is going off to college, and he no longer has his best friend, Michael, around to talk to. Because of these changes, Charlie begins writing letters to someone (we never know who) in order to share the details of his life, sort of like a journal. He makes friends with two seniors, Patrick and Sam, and begins to hang out with them all the time, easily joining their group. 

The internal workings of Charlie are more interesting than what is happening to him all the time. The innocent way in which he interprets a lot of simple things makes him appealing. For instance, he has a sexual dream about Sam and immediately tells her, and apologizes for it. Luckily for Charlie, Sam and Patrick really understand him, and know how to tell him things without making him feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or wrong. 

The book takes place during Charlie’s first year of high school. He has issues with dating, his sister’s boyfriend, drugs, and simply understanding his emotions. I found Charlie to be extremely likable, even though I also felt incredibly bad for him. He goes through a whole lot in this one year, as well as comes to terms with things that happened in his past. None of it is that good. Through it all, he keeps this childlike innocence that makes his sadness even worse. Not understanding his emotions makes him very relatable and definitely an average teen, but I think that Charlie thinks more than most teens would. He has a tendency to overanalyze and worry. 

My problem here is that I can’t quite pinpoint why I liked this book so much. It was very honest, yet still managed to surprise me regularly. Charlie is a sensitive, inquisitive, honest boy, and he just has seemingly awful luck in life. I think he has good instincts, but he questions those around him too often. The wonder of the book is Charlie’s internal dialogue, and you really can’t help but love him.

Some other books I put on par with this are The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, and Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

~Cailey W.

P.S.-I did see the movie version, and it was pretty well-done as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment