One of the joys of book-blogging is discovering books you would not normally have come across. Of course there is always the risk that even despite a glowing review that promises a gem, you end up with what you consider a turkey.
One such book is, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and one such review is Nymeth’s, but before I let her off the hook and let her know whether I liked the book or not, I need to let others who might not have heard about it, know what it is about.
So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.
Fifteen year old, Charlie, is just starting high school…
The narrative takes the form of a series of letters, where Charlie writes to an anonymous friend.
The letters explore Charlie’s thoughts on many topics such as introversion, participation in life, sex, and his experience with drugs. Throughout the story, Charlie – at the behest of his teacher – reads many books, and his thoughts on them individually and as a whole are also discussed.
It is a coming of age story, so of course Charlie develops throughout the year and it is a journey that is interesting to watch , and so he is better able to deal with a shocking realisation towards the end of the year, than he would have at the start.
The letters themselves are written in a fairly simple style, even though are often disarmingly candid. However, through them, Charlie is revealed to be a mature, intelligent and often complicated soul (shown by the fact the people he gets on best with, his friends and his English teacher, are all older than him), and yet in some ways he is very young and innocent, it’s an interesting mix and you can’t help but like him.
If I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset.
Nymeth, you can take a sigh of relief, because I did enjoy the book very much!
I’ll be honest though, it is not going to top out the best of the year list, but it is up there in the higher echelons – if not quite making the summit. Helped because Charlie is an immensely likable protagonist, who you really do care and feel for, and the very fact I spent a very relaxing Sunday afternoon gobbling up all but the first chapter or so, without putting the book down, shows how much I did enjoy it.
Buy, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, from Amazon.