REVIEW: THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by STEPHEN CHBOSKY

Saturday, December 21, 2013




  Today, I present to you... One of the only books in the world whose 'movie cover' looks better than its original cover. 

   Again, here, I'm late to the party with this one–it's grown to be extremely popular in the world of readers, so it was only a matter of time before I was forced to grit my teeth and pick up a coming-of-age.

   I feel like I've never been able to fully appreciate contemporary fiction, mostly because they're usually romance heavy, angsty, and an extremely inaccurate representation of high school life. The last one in particular bothers me, because a lot of the time, I read books and am forced to wonder whether the author suffered severe amnesia immediately after graduating high school. I mean, yeah, obviously there are differences in different countries and districts and what-not, but sometimes they just get ridiculous.

   PERKS was alright for me in that front, I suppose. I mean, honestly, schoolwork wasn't focused on all to much. Uh, the focus was more along the lines of drinking... And sex... And drugs...

   I might come off as a tight ass saying this, but whenever I read about teenagers going crazy on the alcohol and cigs in books, I grow concerned for their fictional immune systems. Okay, yes, it adds a gritty dash of 'realism,' but it's everywhere??? Can't we have good, stable kids who don't fall ploy to peer pressure and/or feel the insatiable urge to completely destroy their livers??? {I swear that I'm not from the Prohibition era or anything. I'm just grossed out by alcoholics and users. Also, contrary to popular belief, not every teenager in the world is universally dysfunctional and incapable of making smart decisions.}

   Holy shit, I've complained way too much already. Uh, anyway, PERKS is written in the form of a series of letters from our adorable main character and budding writer, Charlie. They're all dated and addressed, 'Dear friend,' and according to Charlie, the names of the characters have all been replaced. It's also a really short book, but hefty for its weight. By hefty, I mean to say that it's jam-packed with emotional distress and emotions in general. 

  And here's the real question: Despite my fervent dislike of alcohol abuse in the book, did I enjoy reading it?

  Yes, actually, I did. I found it charming at first, then horribly disturbing, then sweet and fulfilling. Because despite the fact that Patrick and Sam are by far the worst people to have ever laid hands on poor, sweet, unsuspecting Charlie, they are also his best friends, and they love him, albeit dysfunctionally. 

  And the characters were all adorable and sweet and relatable {even though I thought Charlie had some sort of learning disability for a while there} and I really did enjoy reading about them. The tone of the book was easy to delve into and straightforward, honest. Can tone be honest? I think it can.

   I plan on seeing the film when I find the time, because a) Emma Watson, and b) I've heard a lot of good things about it. So hey, why the heck not?

   There are a few triggers that I feel obligated to warn you about if you intend on picking up this book. Substance abuse, for one thing. Emotional turmoil for another. And finally, the awkward, not-at-all erotic sex scenes. 

   Honestly, even though I'm complaining a lot about this book, it's not bad in the least. {In fact, it's quite the opposite.} It's cute, funny, emotional, and compulsively readable. So, if you've watched the movie and haven't read the book, I'd recommend it to you. I'd also recommend it to people who are in for something quick and easy, but not too light, and also for folks who don't read often and need something with easier language to grip on to. Basically, this book seems to me like it could appeal to fans of all genres, so go. Read. Shoo.  


OVERALL RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

1 comments:

Val Langlois said...

You're right about this one, because I usually never pick up any books involving these types of topics but Perks was different. I ended up enjoying it a lot and I'll probably reread it sometime in the future.