I had been really excited to read this, and I knew exactly when I wanted to read it. I had just finished Catcher In The Rye and thought ‘thank God that’s over’, picked up this book, and saw that said on the front cover ‘…written in the style of Catcher In The Rye’. I automatically thought it would be just as bad, but I was determined to read it anyway. I was wrong!
Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:
About The Book
‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky
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 year 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 mix 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 he 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.
The Perks of Being A Wallflower is a coming of age YA novel that follows Charlie through his first year of high school, when he experiments with the type of person he wants to be. Charlie is a very emotional fresher who meets Sam and Patrick, who help him through his school and personal life, introducing him to a life beyond his family and old school friends. ‘Sex, drugs and rock and roll’ would be an appropriate expression to use here!
Readers compare this book to Catcher In The Rye, and I can see why, but I can also see big differences too. There is a lot more of a storyline to Chbosky’s novel, and a lot more happens for it to be a worthy read. The characters have much more depth to them, with Charlie especially having a greater background to him, which made him more likeable as a character. I wouldn’t say the plot was necessarily fast paced, but moved at a steady enough pace that I was able to continue reading without having to force myself. Everything that happened seemed logical enough and fitted in with stereotypical workings of a teenage boys life.
I felt that Sam had a certain amiable nature to her, in my eyes, she never did anything too drastic to make me think she was a bad character to idolise. The other characters did feel real to me as well, because, as I have mentioned, there was a lot more character development throughout the story.
This is the part where I found the book similar to Catcher In The Rye, as it was very difficult to ‘guess’ what was going to happen, because there weren’t any hints in the story to get me guessing. My favourite part of the book was the scene with the famous line ‘We are all infinite’ because it really made me think about what it means to ‘feel infinite’ and how much value we have just being our own person. There are scenes like this throughout the novel that really made me see a difference again, between Perks and Catcher, because the morals where open for you to think more about, and you didn’t have to really hunt for them, whereas I struggled to find anything useful in Catcher.
Chbosky did a great job writing Charlie as a character; a sensitive yet willing young adult, and I think that helped when creating the particularly emotional scenes, for example, Sam’s leaving for college. There were also scenes that made me laugh because of Charlie’s naïvety, which made this book all the more uplifting.
From reading this after reading Catcher In The Rye (not that I should keep comparing it because it is it’s own book!) I can say that, yes, I have learnt things. I learnt that you should just be yourself, but be the best self you can be. Push yourself within your limits to get better at anything you wish, but always stay loyal and true to your friends and family
I would recommend this book to young adults, preferably 12+, as there are some more adult themes mentioned (sex, drugs, etc.)
My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5
Where To Buy
If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):
Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)