I don’t review books very often on here, but I’ve done a couple of reviews this year and it was one of my goals for 2018 to read more – thanks to English Lit A Level, I can safely say I’ve achieved this and always seem to have a book on the go.
Over September & October I read The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Steven Chbosky in my free time (I tend to always have two books on the go at the moment, one which I want to read & the other for school!), which took me a while but mostly because I don’t actually have enough time to read loads at the moment. Anyway, I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about it on here incase any of you were thinking of reading this book too!
See my goodreads rating of this book here!
I ordered the perks of being a wallflower on Amazon after watching the film version (and totally loving it). I assumed that since I loved the film so much, which I watched the night before results day to try keep my nerves at bay, then I’d love the book too. Plus, every person I seem to talk to has read it, and subsequently raves about it – I just had to read it.
When I say people rave about this book, I mean I see it everywhere. There are quotes from it all over my Instagram, the amount of people who’ve given this book an absolutely glowing review shocks me a bit really.
Because, honestly, I just didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it and I’d still recommend reading it if you wanted, but all in all it’s not as good as I expected and I really preferred the film over the book.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
“I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they’re here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day…or wondering who did the heart breaking and wondering why.”
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 years 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 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. But Charlie 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
Above info is taken from goodreads (here).
I didn’t hate the plot of this book by any means. I actually found the whole thing interesting and I was gripped at some points, I enjoyed reading the book and learning more about the characters via the plot. I will say that the plot reminds me of lots of books I’ve read before, although I do think this is somewhat typical with young adult literature, in that lots of it tends to be quite same old same old.
One thing that I do think has happened with this book, is that it’s been adopted as somewhat of a symbol of hipsterism and I think that quite annoys me, given the nature of the book and some of the issues it deals with – but, then again if it’s your favourite book then I suppose it’s natural to bring it into your lifestyle more.
WHAT DID I LIKE?
- The Characters
I love all of the characters in the perks of being a wallflower. I specifically love how Charlie, who narrates the book via a series of letters, lets us know so much about all of them. I felt like I was really in touch with every character and every emotion, and nothing was left out. In terms of my favourites, I’d have to say Sam and Patrick – I loved the dynamic they had with Charlie, and also really enjoyed that neither of them had any monumental love stories that were very typical of young adult books – the relationships they did have were really unique and interesting.
- Letters format
I also really enjoyed the book being written in letters by Charlie – it did give it a really personal touch & made it easier to connect with Charlie and the issues he faced.
- The books & music mentioned
Firstly, the book constantly mentioned the smiths (and one of my favourite songs ‘Asleep’ by the band) which made me love the book – exactly the sort of music taste I have & some of the other songs they mentioned (or which are on the film soundtrack) are now in my playlist. Plus, some of my favourite books ever were mentioned by Charlie during his conversations with Mr. Anderson, and anything that I haven’t read has gone into my goodreads!
WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE?
- Only hearing Charlie’s POV
As much as I enjoyed the letters from Charlie, I’d have liked to occasionally hear the POV of some other characters – his sister, Sam or Patrick etc.
- Never knowing who he was writing to
I’ve always been intrigued as to who he was writing to – I think it would’ve been nice/interesting to find out who it was.
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
Overall, yes I would recommend The Perks of Being A Wallflower. It’s by no means the most groundbreaking, best book I’ve ever read, however it was an enjoyable quick read and I’m glad I’ve read it.
I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post – have you read The Perks of Being A Wallflower? Are you going to read it?