The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I recently read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and it has quickly become my favourite book. I hope no one minds when I compare it to The Catcher in the Rye because that is what it is like. I thought that The Perks of Being a Wallflower was what The Catcher in the Rye was to my mother’s generation. Apart from, I found, the protagonist is likeable and there seems to be more of a point. I read The Catcher in the Rye twice just because I was trying to see what I had missed the first time round. However, I found myself falling in love with Charlie and his (in my opinion) relatable naivity.

I loved the way this book was written and how Charlie would describe things with such childlike optimism. I am going to see the film tomorrow and although it looks really good, I think that this may be lost through the screen. There were times in the novel where Charlie made me laugh out loud. I think I find Charlie’s naivity something I can relate to, as I am very naive and believe anything I am told. I loved Charlie’s innocence as he acted much younger than he was and it was cute. And he was weird but that was also ok because it was the kind of weirdness that is cute and you’d most definately want to be his friend.

The whole concept of this book, I loved. I loved how he was writing to a “friend” (the reader), just because he wants to feel hopeful that there are good people. And the beginning made me feel as though it would take a different root, the idea that he wants to speak to you because you wouldn’t sleep with someone just because you could and you think he is bitter, but he isn’t. I am not sure Charlie would know how to feel bitter.

Although the book contained a slightly over-exaggeratted plot, I was ok with that. I felt so sorry for everyone in the book because honestly there wasn’t anyone who I didn’t like, that is who I was meant to like. It also made me sad thinking about what everyone in this book went though and in some respects I treated it as though it had already happened. The ending is sad, although I originally didn’t pick up on it as it is subtly hinted at in a sentence and that just crushes the hope the reader had. I really didn’t want anything bad to happen to Charlie. You hope that someone can treat others kindly and be filled with goodness. Maybe we’re just too broken sometimes to have the capablity of doing this. I don’t know.

My love of this book roots from how I relate to it. Although nothing significantly bad has happened to me and as far as I am aware I do not have anything mentally different about me. I just found the idea of being a “wallflower” summed up exactly how I often feel. I often feel as though I let life pass me by and don’t participate. I feel I have a lack of friends and read about others with lives instead of actually living mine. It is hard to explain but I feel lonely and have tried participating more, but people just cancel on me. I guess the idea of putting things right struck something with me. Also I thought the idea that you would die for someone but not live for them was interesting. Anyone can choose to die for someone, even strangers. You don’t need a deep and personal relationship with someone to die for them, it helps, but it’s not essential. I guess in a moderate sense it is like giving blood and donating organs. However nothing you can do can make you live for someone else, it is just impossible to do. In some respects living is more important than dying. You get such a short time on earth that it seems futile to let it pass. I know that’s what I am doing now.

“We accept the love we think we deserve”, also stuck with me. And funnily enough I had a dream where the person beat me up, because sometimes that’s what I feel like I deserve. That line just emphasises so much and makes a lot of things make sense. It’s one of the inspirational quotes that just stays in your mind, even if you don’t fully understand it.

As I said I am going to see the film tomorrow and I am excited and will probably post my response to it tomorrow. I hope you enjoyed the book as much as I did and go and see it too!

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