The Perks of Being a Wallflower – 5/5
I am definitely a tad bit embarrassed to admit that I have never read this, as I chose to watch the film adaptation before reading the book. Ugh – the shame! So, I decided to finally pick it up…not sure what to expect of the read, since I thought I was very familiar with the story. Oh boy…was I wrong!
Quick synopsis: Charlie is a freshman in high school exploring typical high school problems such as first dates, first love, family drama, and new friends.
I had to compartmentalize my reading a bit, just so I didn’t keep recalling scenes from the film while I was reading – but as soon as I started reading, I found that it wasn’t that difficult to do that. The book is so different from the movie, that it was easy to experience the book as it’s own entity. The tone of the book is much darker than the film, which made the book so much more heartbreaking. I just wanted to crawl into the book and give Charlie a big hug, telling him that everything is going to be ok. The book definitely captivates you, though, and you become so invested in Charlies’ story.
I also loved reading more about Charlies’ relationship with his family. In the film, you can see that there is some dysfunction in his family or something off. However, we don’t get a lot of time with the family, other than that they’re rather absent with Charlie until the end. In the book, we get to see more of the sibling dynamics between the three, which I loved reading. I thought it added another layer of depth to the story, and made it all the more heartbreaking. I loved that we got to read more about his older brother, and that we got to see the day-to-day relationship between Charlie and his sister. I think my favorite familial relationship that I enjoyed reading about was between Charlie and his father. Stephen Chbosky does a wonderful job of creating an utterly flawed character, that is so lovable and you can’t help root for. I appreciated seeing the depth of Charlies’ father and the example that he tries to be for Charlie throughout the story.
This book was a true pleasure to read – and I am so happy that I finally got around to reading it. This is a true example of what YA literature should look like and what I want younger audiences to be able to read. I want them to be able to see their real lives with all of the flaws, the hurt, the joys, and the successes in a book that ends in hope. A hope for a tomorrow and a hope that things continue to get better over time. So, cheers to you Stephen Chbosky! 🙂