A room without a book is like a body without a soul - Cicero

To Be Read Soon!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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
This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course 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. 
Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.                                             -Chapters Canada                                                    

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is truly a book that stands out from the rest. With a one-of-a-kind narrator and some pretty dynamic events, this books never leaves you without wonder.

I have heard so many good things about this book, but surprisingly little about its actual plot. I was pretty confused when I started reading it. The concept seemed cool, but the narrating voice was puzzling, which kind of added to the intrigue and overall effect of the book. I'm not going to give it away (until after the jump, of course) because I think that's what makes this book as good as it is, and the mystery is what makes the book.

Having said that, the book wasn't epic to me. I still came out of the book kind of confused and with a lot of unanswered questions, which I'm not sure if I really liked. I also got the impression that it was a slice-of-life kind of book, which is probably my least favourite kind. The characters seemed to just be there, not really adding to the book; not really taking away from the story. I guess I'm just ambivalent to it I guess. To tell you the truth, I'm still trying to wrap my head around this novel, and it definitely keeps you thinking about it long after you've finished.

Overall, I think I just found it kind of vague. And I can't decide whether I like that or not. One thing's for sure though: it's definitely curiously notable. And I'm looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out in 2012.

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

The book starts out by pulling me in with its unique style: we don't really know who the narrator is, nor do we know who he is writing letters to. And we never really find out, which is frustrating and neat all at the same time. Which is pretty much how I feel about the whole book. I can appreciate the odd writing and storyline, even though it leaves me with so many questions.

I immediately noticed that the protagonist was different, and I just kept waiting to see in which specific ways. Well we never really find out do we? And I think that's how the author wants it to be. Even now I am constantly trying to categorize Charlie, but then I think, it doesn't really matter does it? Charlie is just Charlie. He is smart and different. And that's just what makes him him. Whether he is autistic, schizophrenic, or just eccentric, Charlie is just Charlie. And I think that's another pretty awesome concept wrapped into this thin little narrative. It is so complex yet simple at the same time. So puzzling and strange and sad yet happy.

Throughout the book, we learn things at Charlie's pace, and see everything through Charlie's eyes and mind. Which at times can be frustrating, but most of the time rewarding and wise. Probably my most favourite thing about the book is Charlie's infinite wisdom. There is no filter for him, and he has the amazing ability to see things at face value and interpret things in an honest and true way, that 'normal' people just can't.

I loved being inside of Charlie's mind for the meager 200-and-some pages that I had with him, but he definitely left an impression on me, and I think that this book will stick with me for a while. Chbosky has the rare ability to write about the seemingly unknown, and in such an accurate way.

I don't really know who to recommend this to, since I think that it could be relatable and relevant in any situation, and to anybody, really. Just an all round interesting read.

Still thinking--Cheers & Enjoy♥

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