Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review | The Perks of Being a Wallflower

After learning that my favorite actress, Emma Watson, played the character Sam, I couldn't stop thinking about this. Luckily, my 16 year old little brother brought the book home for me one day after asking his friend to borrow it. I always prefer to read the book first before watching the movie adaptation as I believe its best to do so. I really enjoyed reading this book and I finished it in a day. Here's a short summary:

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.

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 book is a compilation of letters written by the main character, Charlie, addressed to his anonymous "friend". I think he's referring to the reader as his "friend" as I felt that he was expressing his thoughts and feelings directly to me. He writes about his struggles as a teenager, his family, social life, love interest, and most importantly his thoughts. 
Coming from an Asian country, at first I thought the way the characters behaved were intensely bizarre and outrageous because they were too young for those kinds of things(sex, drugs, wild parties, etc.) I had to remind myself that the book was originally written in 1999 and there's a huge difference from the way teens behave then and of course we're talking about Western culture. It also has many humorous situations which tones down all the seriousness and drama of the story line.
I found myself relating to Charlie's introverted ways because its so me. I prefer spending time alone, both in school and at home, and I'm not so comfortable with social gatherings.  I wish I'd read this during my teens but overall, I think its great and I enjoyed it immensely. 

My rating: 4 stars

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