review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Books, Contemporary, Movies, Novel, Review, Young Adult

 

:: author:: Stephen Chbosky :: published: 2010 :: my rating: 4/5 :: genre: novel :: young adult :: contemporary :: goodreads

Hello my lovely friends!

I’m trying something new today and posting a movie and book review all rolled in one post! I recently watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, something I had been meaning to do for some time, and because I had finished the book fairly recently as well, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Lets go ahead and get started 🙂


Synopsis from goodreads:

8606706

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 years 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.


My Review: (No Spoilers)

The first time I read this book, was during my pre-teen years when I can’t say I was emotionally or mentally prepared to broach the topics presented. However, after revisiting the book, I was better able to grasp and appreciate the topics and issues that were being addressed. If there was were issues with the book, it would be the following.

  1. There was too much going on in the book. I felt like Chobsky tried too hard to include too many topics, and often times it felt overwhelming. Although this could have been done on purpose, I still felt myself having to stop periodically and just think. 
  2. I had to remind myself that Charlie was only a freshman and that this book took place in high school. 
  3. I had trouble understanding why Charlie was unable to identify any emotion other than sadness and regret. Although this is how depression works, I felt that this cycle of whining and inability to understand his situation to be monotonous.

However, I loved how real the book was. How it illustrated mental issues, and the realistic perspective into the struggles adolescents have.

First lines in the book:

“August 25, 1991
Dear Friend,

I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don’t try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don’t want you to do that. I will call people by different names or generic names because I don’t want you to find me. I didn’t enclose a return address for the same reason. I mean nothing bad by this. Honest.

I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist.

The movie, was equally as good, and I found myself falling in love with Emma Watson and surprisingly, I felt like Charlie became so much more real to me. The movie, however, expounded upon the drug culture, and I found myself thinking that this seemed to be more of a college setting than that of high school. This could be in part because my high school experience was so much different, but it was difficult to grasp that these kids were merely high schoolers, as they had so much terrible history behind them.

Characters:

I believe that Chobsky’s characterization and descriptions of the characters were the highlights of the book, and what made the book so lovable. By the end of both the book and the movie, I felt as if I knew each character at a personal and deep level. Each were multifaceted and brought so much dimension to the book.

Charlie is the embodiment of all that adolescents are afraid to admit and be. Innocent and honest, he works as the perfect narrator, providing insight into all the ugly and terrible things that accompany growing up, while also showing the beauty of friendship and love. Suffering from childhood trauma, and depression, Charlie is simply trying to make his way through high school as a normal student. Not only does Charlie have an ugly past that always threatens to ruin his social life, Charlie finds himself to be smarter, and more insightful than the rest of his class. Although his complaints and inability to function correctly in society grew to be annoying, I could understand and empathize with his plight.

In the movie: Charlie is everything I imagined him to be in the book. I had trouble grasping what sort of exterior Charlie exuded at school, and the movie helped me to realize that even with his conflicting interior, he was just that kid in school that we never talked to. This prompted me to realize that these people suffering from problems are all around us.

Contrasting sharply to Charlie’s naivety is Sam. Patrick and Sam take Charlie under their wings, and teach him about life. I believe that it is Charlie’s interactions with these characters that develop him, and expose him to the reader. I won’t say much about the supporting characters, as I found myself enjoying reading and learning about them the most.

The Plot:

There are a series of love stories in this book, all very different from each other. I loved this aspect of this book, as the reader is shown the pain and hardship that accompany any sort of relationship. There were relationships that didn’t work out, a LGBT relationship, one without love, and an abusive one as well. This helped me realize that it’s not always happily ever, and that in the world, there is always a lot more under the surface.

Though I won’t say much about the plot, as I found the characters to be what made the book amazing, I never was bored, and found myself devouring each page to discover more about each character.

Final Thoughts:

This story provided moments to cry, learn and empathize. This coming to age novel taught me a lot about mental health, as well as allowed me to realize that some of the thoughts and issues I was having was not exclusive to me. I was able to better grasp the value of friendship, and what love is. I recommend this to everyone and anyone!

Both the book and movie were wonderful, and I was grateful to have the opportunity to reread and watch.


8606706


Have you watched or read either The Perks of Being a Wallflower? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

anonymous bookaholics

Books, Bucket List, Novel, Tag

Hi, my name is Grace, and I’m addicted to books.

Hello my lovely friends! I was recently tagged by the wonderful Beth @ Reading Every Night to take part in this fun tag. If you guys haven’t already, go check out her amazing blog that is constantly a source of inspiration for me!

I don’t see any rules for this tag, so lets go ahead and get started.


What do you like about buying new books?

Everything! I love cracking open a new spine, and delving into a new book. Also, the anticipation of reading the pages, and trying to guess what is in the book. It’s incredible to realize how many countless books have been written utilizing twenty-six letters. I also get to feel the weight of the authors/publisher’s sweat, blood and tears that went into writing this book. I believe that there is a sense of pride in knowing you own such an amazing book. You know? That feeling you get when you put a book on your bookshelf and think to yourself, this is mine!


How often do you buy new books?

I don’t have a particular schedule or time that I buy books. Just whenever I walk into a store and see something I’ve wanted for forever, or when I just can’t wait for a book, and I buy on Amazon. I always try to force myself to go to the library first, and I’ll more than often buy a book I’ve already read and want in my collection.


Bookstore or online book shopping – Which do you prefer?

Personally, I love the vibe of bookstores, so I’ll always visit just to walk around and sit down at the cafe. I hardly buy books that way though, and much prefer to buy books online where they appear at my doorstop a couple of days later.


Do you have a favourite bookshop?

I don’t have any bookshops near me (I really hope this changes as soon as I get to college), but there was a quaint bookshop in Korea that I enjoyed. There was a nice cafe as well that faced the window where many people were reading and enjoying their pastries.


Do you pre-order books?

I’ve never pre-ordered books, mainly because I’m afraid I’ll dislike the book. I tend to buy books from authors I’ve loved, or classics because they are truly timeless. However, as I’m discovering more and more books I want to read that haven’t been released, pre-ordering books may become more common for me.


Do you have a monthly book buying limit?

No, I know I’ll never follow it, and in the end just feel guilty. Instead, I always force myself to look for a book at the library, go through their free book section, and then have buying books as my last resort. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, and that’s ok too.


Book buying bans – Are they something for you?

NOPE! Doesn’t faze me at all. (I really need to work on my self control) but until that day comes…


How big is your wishlist?

I can’t tell you the exact number, and the list just continues to grow. I feel no guilt though, because I feel like books are really invaluable, and their should never be an end to my wishlist.


Which three books from your wishlist do you wish to own NOW?

 

225219512611446315749186

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

I’m in love with this cover, which is half the reason why I want it on my bookshelf, but also the storyline sounds interesting, and I really want to see how this book ends!

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

There have been such wonderful reviews about this series, that I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these books and read. Mia sounds like such a badass, and I want to learn more about her character and how she lives down her past.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This sounds like a book I’d want to pass down to future daughters/girls. It deals with a lot of things girls struggle with, and although I haven’t read, the premise and content sounds incredible.


I tag:

Madeline @ The SFF Bookshelf

Whitney @ Brown Books and Green Tea

Emma @ Llady Literary

And anyone else! Just make sure to link back, and post a comment so I can see you answers 🙂


What do  you find addicting about books? If there was an Anonymous Bookaholics session near you, would you attend? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

 

Thursday Quotables: 6.23.16

Books, Novel, Thursday Quotables, Young Adult

//book: Stargirl // author: Jerry Spinelli // genre: novel // young adult //  goodreads

Hello my lovely friends! Today, I will be taking quotes from one of my childhood favorite books. This book was my go to read, and I remember reading it over, and over, and over again, without ever getting bored! I loved the free spirit the girl possessed, and was enchanted by her personality. ALSO, THIS BOOK IS ABOUT TO BE TURNED INTO A MOVIE! It is yet to be announced when it will be in theaters. (I’m super excited… can you tell?)

Synopsis from goodreads:

From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, hallways hum “Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. Until they are not. Leo urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her – normal.

More than a love story, this novel deals with the pains of being “normal” and the suppressing power of trying to fit in. Stargirl possesses the magic of being unique, kind and grateful. Her quirky personality, captures the interest of the entire school, until the school discovers that her spirit is “too different”. Leo, is then forced to choose between a girl he loves and the in-crowd.

The most beautiful part about Stargirl, is her ability to appreciate and connect with others. She memorizes birthdays, names and small things that others would probably ignore. She is willing to do most anything for anyone. Stargirl is comfortable with being an outcast, and only attempts to change in order to appease the boy she likes (Leo).

She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.

This is such an accurate description of the essence of Stargirl. She was truly a girl that no one could understand, nor pin down. In their attempts to mold her into something “normal” she would simply slip away, and continue to be who she wanted to be. Of course, the school’s inability to understand who she was, ended up causing her downfall.

He stared at me. “She liked you, boy.” The intensity of his voice and eyes made me blink.
“Yes,” I said.
“She did it for you, you know.”
“What?”
“Gave up her self, for a while there. She loved you that much. What an incredibly lucky kid you were.”

Not only was Stargirl genuine and true to herself, she was able to understand the true meaning of love and the sacrifice that accompanies it. Instead of worrying about what others thought, Stargirl placed a higher importance in those that she loved, and those that loved her. In an attempt to please Leo, Stargirl gave up herself. This is the biggest sacrifice that one can make. I believe that Stargirl not only showed the importance of being unique, but of giving love.

I’m erased. I’m gone. I’m nothing. And then the world is free to flow into me like water into an empty bowl…. And… I see. I hear. But not with eyes and ears. I’m not outside my world anymore, and I’m not really inside it either. The thing is, there’s no difference between me and the universe. The boundary is gone. I am it and it is me. I am a stone, a cactus thorn. I am rain. I like that most of all, being rain.

When Stargirl demonstrated to Leo the power of meditation, I was amazed by her tranquility and tried it again and again and again. I must say, I never succeeded in becoming nothing, but I was able to understand the power Stargirl possessed to hold such power over herself. She was able to become nothing, one with nature and the universe. Her connection with nature is very apparent and beautiful throughout this book. And I think we all need a glimmer of that in our lives.

“She taught me to revel. She taught me to wonder. She taught me to laugh.

I hope we all meet someone like Stargirl one day. Someone who teaches us that it’s ok to stand out, to be different, to love, to laugh. The impact she made on Leo’s life is amazing, and to realize how easily he gave her up cautions us to be mindful and more understanding of the people around us. Sometimes the one we push away, is the one who has shaped our identity the most.

This book truly helped me to realize the detriments of conformity and convinced me to be kind, even if it may be unconventional. The power of peer pressure, and the scary truth behind conformity was also brought to my attention, and each time I put down the book, I was reminded to always be kind, thoughtful and genuine to each and every person I met. This is a must read for anyone of any age, as it deals with important topics in a manner that is engaging and thought-provoking.

22232