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Ten, kdo stojí v koutě

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Když člověk stojí v koutě, může si všimnout spousty úžasných věcí. Ale pak přijde chvíle, kdy je třeba vykročit na parket a začít opravdu žít. Strhujícímu románu Stephena Chboskeho o dilematu mezi nečinností a touhou se dostalo nadšeného přijetí, vyvolal polemiku a získal miliony oddaných čtenářů. Příběh o dospívání na střední škole, který Charlie vypráví v dopisech, je ot Když člověk stojí v koutě, může si všimnout spousty úžasných věcí. Ale pak přijde chvíle, kdy je třeba vykročit na parket a začít opravdu žít. Strhujícímu románu Stephena Chboskeho o dilematu mezi nečinností a touhou se dostalo nadšeného přijetí, vyvolal polemiku a získal miliony oddaných čtenářů. Příběh o dospívání na střední škole, který Charlie vypráví v dopisech, je otevřenější a důvěrnější než leckterý deník, zároveň vtipný i sžíravý. Nevíme, kde Charlie bydlí, ani komu píše - máme jen slova, o která se rozhodl podělit. Zmítán touhou žít svůj vlastní život i touhou vymanit se z role, která mu připadla, prozkoumává dosud neznámé území. Před ním se otvírá svět prvních lásek, rodinných dramat i nových přátelství. Svět sexu, drog a Rocky Horror Picture Show, kde klíčem ke štěstí může být například ta správná píseň, díky níž se můžete řítit tunelem a cítit se nekonečně. V Charliem se autorovi podařilo stvořit vypravěče, který vás uhrane a přenese zpět do divokých a intenzivně prožívaných dní na prahu dospělosti, kdy se život podobal jízdě na horské dráze. Podle své knihy natočil Stephen Chbosky stejnojmenný film, v němž ztvárnili hlavní role Logan Lerman a Emma Watson.


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Když člověk stojí v koutě, může si všimnout spousty úžasných věcí. Ale pak přijde chvíle, kdy je třeba vykročit na parket a začít opravdu žít. Strhujícímu románu Stephena Chboskeho o dilematu mezi nečinností a touhou se dostalo nadšeného přijetí, vyvolal polemiku a získal miliony oddaných čtenářů. Příběh o dospívání na střední škole, který Charlie vypráví v dopisech, je ot Když člověk stojí v koutě, může si všimnout spousty úžasných věcí. Ale pak přijde chvíle, kdy je třeba vykročit na parket a začít opravdu žít. Strhujícímu románu Stephena Chboskeho o dilematu mezi nečinností a touhou se dostalo nadšeného přijetí, vyvolal polemiku a získal miliony oddaných čtenářů. Příběh o dospívání na střední škole, který Charlie vypráví v dopisech, je otevřenější a důvěrnější než leckterý deník, zároveň vtipný i sžíravý. Nevíme, kde Charlie bydlí, ani komu píše - máme jen slova, o která se rozhodl podělit. Zmítán touhou žít svůj vlastní život i touhou vymanit se z role, která mu připadla, prozkoumává dosud neznámé území. Před ním se otvírá svět prvních lásek, rodinných dramat i nových přátelství. Svět sexu, drog a Rocky Horror Picture Show, kde klíčem ke štěstí může být například ta správná píseň, díky níž se můžete řítit tunelem a cítit se nekonečně. V Charliem se autorovi podařilo stvořit vypravěče, který vás uhrane a přenese zpět do divokých a intenzivně prožívaných dní na prahu dospělosti, kdy se život podobal jízdě na horské dráze. Podle své knihy natočil Stephen Chbosky stejnojmenný film, v němž ztvárnili hlavní role Logan Lerman a Emma Watson.

30 review for Ten, kdo stojí v koutě

  1. 4 out of 5

    MizzSandie

    DISCLAIMER: I did not like this book. I am about to try to explain why that is so, here, in my own, personal review space. I am critiqing this book, based on my own opinions, personal taste, experiences and perspective, criteria and standards for literary work. It is entirely subjective, as I think all reviews, per definition, are. I mean no disrespect to the people who like this book, and who have found in it something of value. You are as entitled to your own opinion, subjective readingexperie DISCLAIMER: I did not like this book. I am about to try to explain why that is so, here, in my own, personal review space. I am critiqing this book, based on my own opinions, personal taste, experiences and perspective, criteria and standards for literary work. It is entirely subjective, as I think all reviews, per definition, are. I mean no disrespect to the people who like this book, and who have found in it something of value. You are as entitled to your own opinion, subjective readingexperience, and standards, as I am, and yours is just as valid. And you have the same opportunity as me, to use your own review space, to clarify that. We don’t all have to agree. One opinion isn’t ‘wrong’ and the other ‘right’ – they are both right, because it is personal. If you are a big fan of this book, and have difficulty in understanding or respecting people, who disagree with you, especially on issues that are important to you, I advice you not to read any further. I will not be saying nice things about this book. A note regarding my own viewpoint: I have a background in psychology and work in this field. The knowledge that I have of some of the issues handled in this book, and the real people I’ve met working in this field, of course affects how I view the book, and is actually one of the reasons I think, that the way this book was written isnt a very good approach to or description of some of these very real issues. I want to underline that I look at Charlie as a written character, not a real person, and I value the book as a literary piece of work, not as a real life story. To me, there is a huge difference between the two. That doesnt make my opinion any more 'right' it is only to explain where i am coming from. ------------------------------ Some of the things that matter most to me in books are prose/writing style, storytelling and message. It’s one of the things that can make or break a book for me. In this case, the writing style just didn't work for me. It was just too lacking . Maybe it's the whole premise of the book, a story narrated by someone who is emotionally inhibited as Charlie, that didn't work for me? Maybe, but it didn't have to be. That issue and Charlie’s character could have been explored and dealt with, literary, in other ways. The book could have had Charlie’s narration interact with someone else’s (like an answer to the letters for example), or it could have been written in the 3rd person, maintaining Charlie’s point of view, but also being able to draw in other views, and how they collide with Charlie’s. I find it a bit concerning, that Chbosky wrote a book with so many serious issues like suicide, death, rape, social exclusion/inclusion, relationship violence, abortion, drugs, homosexual adventures, childmolestation/incest, parties, fights, without really dealing with any one of them in depth. To have all of these issues crammed into one book, without giving it the time and place it deserves, I felt, was a huge fault. Each one of these issues needs to be taken seriously, not pointed out on one page, just to be forgotten on the next. If you are going to write about these things, write about it well, give it the space and the in-depth exploration it deserves. To make the reader care for these characters, for these issues, the author and the characters involved must care too. I had a hard time stomaching that both Chbosky and the characters seemed to care so little, for something that is so very very real and so very very difficult, for so many people. It was almost making a mockery of them, which was very off-putting to me. The staccato writing and Charlie’s detached narrating, made me feel detached as well. The story is written in a very plain, very dull, very simple language, with the same sentences reoccurring over and over (eg. "..I don't know why.." , "He/she looked sad.") The emotional description amounts to 'sad' or 'happy'. The portrayals of Charlie and everyone else in the story was so lacking that they felt like cardboard cutouts and simply came off as what they were; made up characters in a fictional story (and not a very good one at that if you ask me). The main character, Charlie, is 15, but comes off as much younger than that. He seems very immature, more like a 7 year old. How a boy can live to be 15 in this time and age (yes, I know it was written in the 1990’s but still, even then, masturbation was a wellknown phenomenon), without knowing of (not practicing) masturbation, is quite a wonder in itself. Charlie also cries a lot, which wouldn’t be a problem, if it was more nuancedly described. I don’t want to see /read about just the surface tears. I want to be taken behind the tears, into the pool they stem from, the pain they are a symptom of and maybe a release from? I want the author to show me what these tears mean, I want to understand them, to be touched by them, to be moved with the ebb and flow of them. In this case, that didn’t happen. The sentence "I/he/she started to cry" alone, just doesn’t stir much emotion in me. Especially not when thrown about on every other page. Then it just gets bothersome and tiring. It's not that I have an aversion to tears (my own or others'). Crying is normal, and can be very healthy and soothing. But when it comes to a literary work, I expect the author to give more nuanced descriptions of feelings than just bucketful of tears. Okay, so they are sad. Very, very sad. Very often. Now, show me what that sadness does to someone, besides producing tears, tears, tears. I am not interested in the tears alone. The sadness is the root, the tears are a symptom. Many people are filled with sadness, but don’t produce many tears. Sadness can overflow in many ways. So: the sadness is the key. Which is why I was so disappointed that Chbosky never digged deeper than this very very thin surface. All I got was tears. And I wonder if all the crying came down to Chbosky simply not knowing how else to describe emotions, or how explore them. Much thought and debate has been given to the question why Charlie is, the way he is. There is the fact that he suffered from childhood trauma, and then there is the question of whether or not Charlie might be autistic. The latter is hinted at and up for interpretation, but never explicitly stated/diagnosed. The autistic spectrum is a varied one, and it comes in many forms, very few fitting the standard, but classic ‘rainman’ syndrome of a very intelligent but socially closed off person. It’s admirable to want to write about autism, a difficult diagnosis to live with, sure. I just don’t think Chbosky is doing autistic people any favors or justice with his depiction of Charlie as someone who might or might not be autistic. Again I must say: if you are going to write about it, write about it with care. Don’t make it into a guessing game, but own it. Don’t glamorize or deride it, but show its many layers and nuances through the particulars and the concrete. The same goes for the psychological trauma. It wasn’t given the care and attention it deserved. It was left at the end as an easy way out, like 'hey, he suffered/suffers from this and so i'm excused for writing a terribly boring book'. No. Whatever made Charlie the way he is, it doesn’t compensate for how the story was written and pulled off. To me, it's really besides the point, since I don’t base my rating/review on pity for a character. SO whether Charlie has any form of autism or not, doesn't really matter, because I thought he and the story was very poorly written. and let me be clear about this: It's not the disorder I have a problem with, it's the writing of it. Note (November, 2013): I recently saw the movie, and thought it was better than the book. Maybe because it fixed some of the issues I had with the book, like it left some of the drama llama out and it wasn't as heavily centered on Charlie's narration and perspective, and emotions and reactions was expressed through expressions instead of just (bad) writing. Different type of media - different possibilities. For this story, i think movie worked better than writing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Reynje

    If, like me, you lurk on frequent tumblr, you will have realised that there is only so far you can scroll before you hit something like this: Stephen Chbosky’s epistolary novel has something of a cult following, and the quotes that litter the internet seem almost anthemic, given the passion with which they are re-blogged, quoted, slapped across artfully light-leaked photographs and “liked”. A generation appears to have adopted The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and by extension it’s narrator Charl If, like me, you lurk on frequent tumblr, you will have realised that there is only so far you can scroll before you hit something like this: Stephen Chbosky’s epistolary novel has something of a cult following, and the quotes that litter the internet seem almost anthemic, given the passion with which they are re-blogged, quoted, slapped across artfully light-leaked photographs and “liked”. A generation appears to have adopted The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and by extension it’s narrator Charlie, as a sort of symbol of the experience of adolescence. Frequently criticised and challenged, Perks seems to offer its devoted fans a sense of connection, of understanding, of honesty about things left unspoken, or whispered behind hands and closed doors. This book speaks to the sense of alienation that many teens experience, the questions of who they are and where they belong. Charlie has become a response to – and I mean no disrespect by this, as I was/am a voice in this – a collective, plaintive cry of “nobody understands me”. It also seems to have become an unofficial badge of hipsterism, and therein lies the reason for my cautious (view spoiler)[okay, biased (hide spoiler)] approach to reading this book. To be blunt, I expected to dislike Perks. I know my reading tastes quite well by now and I no longer feel the need to read books based on any kind of social or intellectual cachet apparently attached to them. If anything, that just makes me more inclined to baulk at picking them up. So I confess to a little chagrin at the realisation that I don’t hate this book. I don’t even dislike it. I’ll push the boat right out and say I was rather moved by this story. While some of the issues and content in Perks may seem less groundbreaking now, more than a decade after it’s initial publication, I think it’s fair to say that they still resonate with readers. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since 1999 in terms of “edgy” or “controversial” YA books, so it’s possible that the impact of the explicit or implied events in Chbosky’s novel are somewhat softened by comparison. Regardless, it’s still a book that successfully captures the way these topics are internalised by the protagonist, and it’s evidently a voice that continues to engage and move its more recent audience. Basically, it’s not strictly the topics that appeal, so much as the manner in which they’re approached and discussed. That said, there is a lot going on in this book, and I have to wonder whether the sheer breadth of the issues touched upon lessens the strength of the story. And not in the sense that I think the events are unrealistic, necessarily, but more that (and I offer this opinion with some trepidation) at times Perks reads like it’s a bit in love with its own moroseness. The novel’s gaze is so relentlessly self-involved that I can’t help but feel that there is something indulgent in its tone, which I was not enamoured with. Whether “wallflower” is a strictly accurate descriptor for Charlie is a topic I’ve seen expanded upon in other reviews, and I won’t go into that much here. Charlie is evidently an introvert, allegedly “gifted”, who has a rich and consuming inner world, but I think it’s clear that there is more at play here than simple shyness, intellectually and socially speaking. While some of Charlie’s emotional state is explained at the end of the novel, I feel that there’s even more to Charlie than Chbosky ever reveals, hinted at by the apparent naivety of his fifteen / sixteen years. What I did appreciate, and what ultimately caused me to like this book, was how accurately Charlie’s experiences with anxiety and depression were presented. Prior to this, I hadn’t read a book that so closely mirrored the physical and emotional manifestation of anxiety as I am familiar with it. The deeply unsettling sensation of nebulous tentacles of panic radiating out in search of something to fixate on, of instability and uncontrolled sadness, honestly made me feel nauseous. I can’t help but wish I’d had this book in my hands when I was teenager, when it probably would have meant the world to me. Anxiety is an incredibly frightening and isolating condition, and I think this book communicates that very truthfully. The sensation of being a spectator of life, rather than a participant in it, is all too relevant and close-to-home for many who have experienced a mental illness in some form. It’s probably no surprise then, that I found Chobsky’s characterisation one of the highlights of this book. From Charlie himself as the narrator, through the supporting cast, I felt that I knew who these people were, that they were real. (It actually makes me curious to see the film adaptation, and how the nuances and subtleties of the characters translate to the screen). I can’t say that I’ll be joining the ranks of dedicated, vocal fans of The Perks of a Wallflower, leaving a trail of quotes in my wake across the internet. But I am quietly appreciative of this book, and the powerful, unique experience of reading it. You can read Shirley Marr's extremely awesome take on this book here. Prepare for your daily cup of radness to runneth over. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ At Shirley’s request: Ode to a Readalong (or I’m Sorry I Abandoned You Shirley) (or This Poem Is Too Cool To Rhyme) I tried to be a hipster today But they said my haircut wasn’t cool enough So I guess it’s back to being a real nerd Instead of a pretend one Then I thought I'd read The Perks of Being a Wallflower In my scarf with my fixie-riding friend Shirley Turn up my Smiths record really loud And contemplate my infiniteness But my mockery proved empty, hollow like my heart I wept bitter tears as I turned each page Trapped in a glass cage of emotion As I realised I will never be hip Ever. Shirley & Reynje's Hipsterific Readalong - Coming in 2012 Miss Shirley, get your scarf on! I'm waiting for you..(in the meantime, I'll be listening to bands that are so cool they don't even exist yet.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Wallflower (noun) a shy or retiring person who remains unnoticed at social events, especially a woman without a dance partner I decided to read this book not because there was going to be a movie coming out soon. It one of the reasons but then again it wasn’t the main one. I wanted to read it because the word “wallflower” caught my attention. I was a wallflower. I was not one of those kids people notice immediately. I was one of those people who blends in very well that I was no longer noticeable. I w Wallflower (noun) a shy or retiring person who remains unnoticed at social events, especially a woman without a dance partner I decided to read this book not because there was going to be a movie coming out soon. It one of the reasons but then again it wasn’t the main one. I wanted to read it because the word “wallflower” caught my attention. I was a wallflower. I was not one of those kids people notice immediately. I was one of those people who blends in very well that I was no longer noticeable. I was a “nobody”. I was one of those uncool kids back in high school that almost no one spoke to because I always kept to myself. I was insecure. I was scared that if I try to talk no one would listen. Actually I think I still am even though I am already working. I am still a “nobody” here. I have a couple of friends but it seems like no one really knows who I really am because I never let them find out who I really was. They know my name and a couple of unimportant things but I think that’s about it. They don’t really care about the things I like, the things that make me cry, the things that make me smile. I was just another person they knew by name but never really knew at all. Perks of Being a Wallflower has to be one of the books that I could relate to. It was very insightful and poignant that in most part of this book I felt like it was me writing those letters. Charlie (the main character) and I don’t have very much in common but still I found myself relating to his situation almost all throughout the book. I was not as introverted nor was I as smart as he was but there was something about how the author wrote him that you’ll start to see the world through his eyes. You’ll see how innocent and pure his outlook was in life. Charlie wasn’t normal and he knew it. He was struggling after the death of his favorite Aunt. He tried his best to “participate” but there is still this part of him that would be locked away from everyone else. Charlie was a freshman and he still has a lot of things to learn. Hanging out with Patrick and Sam (who were both seniors) exposed him to a lot of things he wasn’t used to (like smoking, drinking, making out those sort of stuff). His letters mirrors the experience or the things we went through during his first year in high school. As I was saying earlier I loved this book a lot because I related much with not only the character but with the whole story. We may not be like Charlie but the things he went through in high school were something almost everyone went through. I didn’t do drugs nor did I smoke a lot when I was in high school. But some kids were motivated in doing so by peer pressure but in Charlie’s case I think it was more of curiosity rather than peer pressure. This book showed us how a special kid like Charlie would cope with being in high school and overcoming the problems he would encounter as he goes along. Another thing I loved about this book was how it was written. Though it was written back in the 90’s when you read it, you’ll get this impression that it was just written recently in a 90’s setting. This book was transcend time. When you read it probably in the next 10 years you would still be able to relate to it. There were a lot of good quotations in this book but one really stood out for me: So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them. We are all different. We are also all the same. Most of us may not be as smart as Charlie or as popular as Brad (who I think was an a**hole) but all of us can still make a difference. We may be experiencing troubles right now but that could change based on the decisions or choices that we would make. I don’t think this is much of a review but more of a rant. Sorry my dear readers if this review disappointed you but I kind of like sharing my thoughts about a book that I really connected with. This book was one of them. I give this book 5 wonderful glittery stars!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karolina

    February 25, 2013 Dear Charlie, I am writing to you because I feel like you're the only one that would listen to me right now. From all the friends that I have made you are the one that's the most understanding. I guess what I'm trying to do is thank you for being there for me these last couple of days. I didn't expect to learn from you as much as I have. My mom always says that you can never really understand a person until you walk in their shoes, but I guess getting to know you and reading your February 25, 2013 Dear Charlie, I am writing to you because I feel like you're the only one that would listen to me right now. From all the friends that I have made you are the one that's the most understanding. I guess what I'm trying to do is thank you for being there for me these last couple of days. I didn't expect to learn from you as much as I have. My mom always says that you can never really understand a person until you walk in their shoes, but I guess getting to know you and reading your story did just that. I have to say you have stripped me from any prejudice I might have had. And I am truly sorry if I had any. You showed me that no matter what happens, what we experience, we always have a right to feel the way we feel, just because. You showed me the purity of feelings, beauty of thoughts, generosity of love and warmth of friendship. You made me appreciate books and poetry more, and see the impact they have on people's lives. For that you will always hold a special place in my heart. I'd like to think that you get better, I hope one day you can be honest with people you love, be who you really are and do what you want to do. Most importantly I hope that you will love the real Sam and not just the idea of her and be ready for her to love you back. I hope we can see each other some day, I'll make sure to come back and remind myself of everything that is you, tho I hope to never forget. Love always Karolina

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    There may be a book in the world that can address, just within very few pages, suicide, molestation, domestic abuse, homosexuality, drug use, mental issues, first sexual experiences, rape, abortion, etc., and not sound like a Lifetime movie, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not an example of that. For me, the straw that broke the camel's back was when I realized that, to add to all of the above mentioned melodrama, the narrator was either emotionally or mentally handicapped. It appeared, C There may be a book in the world that can address, just within very few pages, suicide, molestation, domestic abuse, homosexuality, drug use, mental issues, first sexual experiences, rape, abortion, etc., and not sound like a Lifetime movie, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not an example of that. For me, the straw that broke the camel's back was when I realized that, to add to all of the above mentioned melodrama, the narrator was either emotionally or mentally handicapped. It appeared, Charlie's inability to identify any emotion within himself besides sadness, his constant crying, his lack of knowledge (at the age of 15) what masturbation was, his failure to understand any social situation (like a rape while witnessing it in his teen years) was indicative of either some form of autism or just severe mental immaturity. This, I thought then, was too exploitative. At that point, only a victim of cancer (or AIDS) was missing from this already uber-dire, emotionally manipulative narrative. But, as it turned out, I was very wrong. Charlie was, evidently, just a shy, socially awkward, AP-classes attending, extremely gifted and observant student with a dark secret. At least, that how he was described by other people. What?! What does it say about Stephen Chbosky's writing abilities if his supposedly intelligent teen narrator sounds like a 7-year old? If Charlie's writing was reflective of his speech and interactions, how in the world could he become friends with a crowd of cool older kids and even had girlfriends, all of whom thought him petty much the best thing since sliced bread? I can attribute the popularity of this novel only to the story's great variety of tear-jerking opportunities, teachable moments and life lessons, gently delivered by the ever-so-wise and deep narrator. This isn't even controversial enough to deserve all those bannings. 2 stars for moments of interest of the train-wreck kind.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    Clueless. I am clueless. The popularity of this book baffles me even more than the popularity of The Fault in Our Stars. Maybe I really am just a coldhearted person with no feelings. Amazingly, I actually managed to start The Perks of Being a Wallflower knowing absolutely nothing about it. I've avoided all the reviews and hype over the years, I've purposely put off seeing the movie because I wanted to check out the book first. I knew nothing except that so many people LOVE this book. I was a bit Clueless. I am clueless. The popularity of this book baffles me even more than the popularity of The Fault in Our Stars. Maybe I really am just a coldhearted person with no feelings. Amazingly, I actually managed to start The Perks of Being a Wallflower knowing absolutely nothing about it. I've avoided all the reviews and hype over the years, I've purposely put off seeing the movie because I wanted to check out the book first. I knew nothing except that so many people LOVE this book. I was a bit sceptical from the very first page when 15-year-old Charlie's narrative opened with short, choppy, fragmented sentences: I don't think that there is a favorite kid in our family. There are three of us and I am the youngest. My brother is the oldest. He is a very good football player and likes his car. My sister is very pretty and mean to boys and she is in the middle. But I perked up at the idea of reading a book by a narrator with obvious learning difficulties and/or autism*. One of my favourite parts of reading is getting to see the world through the eyes of someone whose perspective I might not have fully considered before. So I was willing to overlook the slightly annoying use of immature language and structure because I realised it was needed to get inside the narrator's head. Imagine my surprise and confusion when I discovered that not only does Charlie not have any learning difficulties, but he is actually considered "intelligent beyond his years", is apparently extremely talented and somehow manages to get straight-A grades. What????? And also how????? It's like I'm missing something. I must be, right? Because to me this seems like nothing more than the usual melodramatic issue book, desperately trying to manipulate my emotions with the subtlety of a million flying bricks. There's suicide, sexual abuse, domestic abuse and homosexuality crammed into the first few chapters. Is that not enough angst for you? Well, wait a few more chapters and we get drugs, incest, fights, first sexual experiences and masturbation, told through the eyes of a guy who sounds about eight but is actually a teenager. I didn't feel sad or moved or anything so, like I said, maybe this is a character flaw on my part. But I'm tired of reading books where I can feel the author's little voice screaming between the lines "Cry! Look people are dying and it is so sad, cry! Look incest and prejudice and rape, cry!" I felt nothing. Except maybe manipulated; yeah, I definitely felt manipulated. ____________________________________ * A few people pointed out in the comments that those with autism can actually be very intelligent and I felt the need to mention it here. While reading, I wondered if Charlie might be autistic because dyslexia is common among those with autism, but I don't want to lead anyone to believe that autism denotes a lack of intelligence - in many cases, the opposite is true. Blog | Leafmarks | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    As much as people say it, this really is one of my favorite books of all time. MTV promoted it, it got a lot of press, so many people shun it and say it is overrated. I disagree. I didn't read this book until last year, when I turned 21. My boyfriend owned it, it seemed like a quick read, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Main character Charlie is loveable from the first sentence out of his mouth. There are endless quoteable quotes in this book that had me folding the page over so I As much as people say it, this really is one of my favorite books of all time. MTV promoted it, it got a lot of press, so many people shun it and say it is overrated. I disagree. I didn't read this book until last year, when I turned 21. My boyfriend owned it, it seemed like a quick read, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Main character Charlie is loveable from the first sentence out of his mouth. There are endless quoteable quotes in this book that had me folding the page over so I could write them down later. Charlie has an honest innocence to him yet such an intense depth and intelligent mind that he is quite the multifaceted character. While the story has its ups and downs, and really, there isn't a very intense plot, the reader is somehow sucked into Charlies head sharing his first kiss, his feelings toward his new friends, his feelings towards literature and music. He is naiive about so many things, and his bluntness made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. He not only deals with issues like love, but also having a gay friend, dealing with death, and sexual assault, but also sharing his love of music and literature, which I think are two things that are being lost on youth today. I would give this book to every teenage boy and girl I knew. While Charlie isn't exactly a excellent role model, he does show that being different is O.K. and that friends come in all kinds of packages...to stay true to yourself. These things matter.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    THIS BOOK ALWAYS BRINGS ME SO MANY FEELS. 3rd time re-reading it and I still feel infinite.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    ‘‘Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.’’ That is quite true. I have stumbled across many beautiful sentences, throughout my reading, and ones that make us think but, this one, is my absolute favorite of them all. There is so much that can be said about this, yet I don’t seem to find the right words, but I will try my best. It was such an… emotional, deep and realistic story. The plot was simple, if we only look at it as a whole, but every detail contributed to make it an incredible r ‘‘Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.’’ That is quite true. I have stumbled across many beautiful sentences, throughout my reading, and ones that make us think but, this one, is my absolute favorite of them all. There is so much that can be said about this, yet I don’t seem to find the right words, but I will try my best. It was such an… emotional, deep and realistic story. The plot was simple, if we only look at it as a whole, but every detail contributed to make it an incredible read. And every character to make this story an unforgettable one for us. Charlie was the sweetest male character I had ever encountered in a read. What I loved most about him though was how honest he was and how he wasn’t afraid to tell the truth. Some exceptions apply, of course, but he felt so bad for lying that he made everything right and I couldn’t stop saying/thinking ‘‘Aww.’’ He was cute and loveable and it was impossible not to get invested in his story. Not only was the main character a fantastic one, but the secondary ones were as well. Let’s take Sam for example. She may have looked/behaved like a million other girls on the planet but, the way she understood Charlie and always seemed to have the right words for him, made her someone unique and a wonderful person to my eyes. There were multiple ‘love stories’ in this book but they didn't all end well. I wasn’t as affected by them while reading, since I saw the movie first, but it was still very hard to read about Patrick’s relationship with Brad. LGBT has always been a dear theme to me and reading about how sad, beautiful and poignant Patrick’s love for Brad was really touched me and I only wished, throughout the story, that they would both have their happily-ever-after because, even though they may not have been perfect, they deserve it. I saw multiple reviewers complain about the writing. Some said it was too simplistic for them to enjoy it or perhaps they weren’t used to this kind of style. It very much reminded me of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’s--a book I highly highly recommend. It was indeed simplistic but, like Charlie himself said in the story, he writes the way he speaks. And knowing that, I found the writing perfectly matching the story and ended up loving it and feeling like I knew Charlie in much more dept than than with any other writing style. The story was filled with different themes or messages, but the one I loved the most was this one: it’s not where we come from or in which family we grow up in that defines who we are. We make our own future and it’s not because our parents treated us badly or were alcoholic that we will as well. It’s our life and, depending on ourselves and our choices, we will become who we are meant or wish to be. There is a reason why this book is so popular and appreciated by readers and, by reading it, you will certainly find out. It’s the kind of book I would suggest everyone reads, at least once in their lives. Last updated: April 28th, 2016 - made grammatical corrections. BD | Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emma Giordano

    I don't even think I can truly convey how much I loved this book other than to say it was entirely life changing and I'm so upset it took me this long to read it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    *UPDATE:* I went and saw the movie today and it was a very good movie. Stephen Chbosky directed the movie and it was very true to the book, I would say almost exact. So if you liked the book I would definitely recommend going to see the movie, you will enjoy it! I have been struggling with how to rate this book since I finished it. I loved this book but then at the same time it was just okay. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I am finally secure with who I am… but in high school that *UPDATE:* I went and saw the movie today and it was a very good movie. Stephen Chbosky directed the movie and it was very true to the book, I would say almost exact. So if you liked the book I would definitely recommend going to see the movie, you will enjoy it! I have been struggling with how to rate this book since I finished it. I loved this book but then at the same time it was just okay. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I am finally secure with who I am… but in high school that wasn’t true. If I would have read this book in high school I think I would be absolutely in love with it because of the fact, that probably, like most of us at one point in our teens, I felt like an outsider like Charlie. Without my closest friends around me I was a definite “wallflower,” the insecure, quite, nerd who would rather blend in then be seen. As I’m thinking about it now I think that is what was hard about this book for me at points it reminded me of who I was in middle school and the beginning of high school and that is a person I would much rather leave in the past. Sam and Patrick were the friends that pulled Charlie off the wall just as my friends did. I could relate to a lot of what Charlie felt, which I think a lot of us can. I didn’t do drugs or drink in high school but I’m sure we all had friends who did or even just know the feelings that led him too. “ We accept the love we think we deserve,” When I first started the book and after the suicide of Michael and the death of his aunt being carefully tiptoed around I initially thought the book was going to be mainly about suicide. In a way I guess it was but not as much as I thought. These are the parts that really spoke to me and I connected to having seen the effects of depression and suicide. After reading about the mixed tape Charlie makes I went and downloaded all the songs and I love the song Asleep by the Smiths. I wish I had heard this song when I was dealing with everything in high school. I am glad that Stephen Chbosky introduced me to this song and the poem Charlie reads to his friends: “That's why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem And he called it "Absolutely Nothing" Because that's what it was really all about And he gave himself an A and a slash on each damned wrist And he hung it on the bathroom door because this time he didn't think he could reach the kitchen” The Pros of this book: The letter writing was a unique format that felt very open and sincere. (Even though I still want to know who he was writing to and what that person thought as they received the letters.) The events in the book seemed real as if they happened in my own high school. The characters were fantastic even if I felt Charlie was being whinny at points, but hey it’s a letter that’s probably how it would sound. The Cons: Okay the main thing that really bothered me in this book was the essays he was writing for extra work. His teacher claims that he is becoming a better writer each time. The problem I have with that is wouldn’t his letter writing get better as well? I know it isn’t in a formal setting but I expected his writing overall to get better which it didn’t. I don’t know if it is just me but the writing in the book seemed below a freshman level but that could have to do with the fact that I think that Charlie suffered from some sort of autism. Overall I’m going to give this book a solid 4 stars. The book was quite relatable but I didn’t expect the twist at the end even though it did make the rest of the book make more sense. I know have a playlist on my iPod labeled as “Charlie’s Playlist” and I’m in love with the song Asleep. “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” This was a powerful line that really spoke to me. I never thought as moments as “infinite” but it really is true. Those moments when you are truly happy or even on the flip side when the world is crashing down they seem infinite. I love this line. Some may hate it and think it cheesy but sometimes life needs to be cheesy and it needs to be infinite.

  12. 5 out of 5

    DC

    June 30, 2012 Dear Charlie, First of all, thank you for sending me your poignant letters. I'm honored you think of me as a person that didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though I could have. I'm ecstatic you decided to allow me to read your thoughts. I'm glad you proved to be such a great letter-writer/story-teller. I am really quite happy about this. It was nice receiving letters from you, even though they're dated long ago. I know that I got them for only a couple of months ( June 30, 2012 Dear Charlie, First of all, thank you for sending me your poignant letters. I'm honored you think of me as a person that didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though I could have. I'm ecstatic you decided to allow me to read your thoughts. I'm glad you proved to be such a great letter-writer/story-teller. I am really quite happy about this. It was nice receiving letters from you, even though they're dated long ago. I know that I got them for only a couple of months (in a span of one year), but it felt like you've been talking to me since you were very young. (Remember that memory you called the first one you ever remembered?) I sometimes felt like the things you were pouring out in your letters were a little too personal, but you let me into your head, into your heart, into your soul. With only your words, I saw you "participate", I saw you have friends, I saw you fall in love, I saw you grow. I may not have ever seen you or the persons you know personally, but I could almost taste your fries from that fastfood chain, I could almost hear Mary Elizabeth's chatter, I could almost see Patrick's smile, I could almost feel the winter cold of your world there. Your friends and family were as real to me as if I saw them every single day of my life. Now... While I was glad you were very honest in your letters, I have to admit that your highs and lows were brutal and enlightening to me, as they were to you. Your first kiss (remember her tears?), your first "girlfriend" (e.e. cummings will always remind me of her), your first experiments with different substances (I was a little appalled, a little sad, a little curiously happy for you), your first drive (oh, the silly sophomores), your first mix tape (thank you very much for introducing me to a number of memorable songs!), your first time watching the last episode of M*A*S*H (I promise to keep that incident secret, too). You had your issues, but you seemed more interested in those of others. I felt more than a little sad when you were being too nice to some people... But boy was I rather depressed when you had to be all alone! I wish I could've always been there, instead of reading of your exploits on a date after you've had them. I'll sincerely cherish your words, your thoughts, your ideas. Thank you very much for the pop culture references - you surely made me add more books and more songs and more "films" to my to-check-out list! I'm a little sad that I haven't gotten any more letters from you after that last one, but I understand. I'm sure you're doing well, and rest assured: I'll always be here to hear you out when you need it. Thank you for being so wonderfully Charlie-esque. Thank you for letting me feel infinite. Love always, Your friend

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This book is beautiful. It is a classic teenager read. I have probably read this book a million times and it never gets old. I love how honest and deep Charlie is. He will get you thinking about the good things and what really matters in life. I am inspired whenever I read this book and I hope you can get as much out of it as I do each and every time. This is was my book report for school. Hope it helps! “We are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if This book is beautiful. It is a classic teenager read. I have probably read this book a million times and it never gets old. I love how honest and deep Charlie is. He will get you thinking about the good things and what really matters in life. I am inspired whenever I read this book and I hope you can get as much out of it as I do each and every time. This is was my book report for school. Hope it helps! “We are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose wherever we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.” (pg.211) Every word spoken by Charlie has touched my heart. I love how honest and deep Charlie is. He will get you thinking about the good things and what really matters in life. I am inspired whenever I read this book. Written by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower would have to be one of the most insightful young adult novels I have read. It’s a collection of letters written by a boy who calls himself Charlie. He writes “to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have. (He) need(s) to know that these people exist.” (pg.2) This books talks about drugs, sex, sexuality, literature, films, music, and daily adolescent life. The main character, Charlie, a freshman in the early 1990’s, is just beginning high school like all of us. Following his meeting with Sam and Patrick, two seniors who become his best friends, Charlie begins to experience more of life. He was always more of the shy understanding type who would “use thought to not participate in life.” (pg.24) "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 you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite…" (Back cover) When I read certain books, or certain lines I can get the chills. Not just “oh that I was so good I got the chills” but the true hair raising shiver with a small sweep of coldness, chills. That line does it for me. “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." (pg.39) If these lines have no affect on you, I do not recommend reading this book. It’s for the thinkers as well as the participators. It’s for the ones who enjoy simplicity and want to widen and better their point of view. Don’t take me wrong though, everyone should read it, but at their own time. This book has inspired me to try and do so much more. Charlie did and achieved so much in just his freshman year alone. I want to live a life like him. One that I can look back and be proud of, one that I can tell my kids about, of walking home from school and spending the best times with my friends. To you, right now in this classroom it may seem little and petty, but to Charlie and I, this is real. After reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I assure you that Charlie will be with you forever.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    The book be like - CRY, BITCH. After 50 pages I would have written that The Perks of Being a Wallflower was poorly written, boring and tasteless. After 100 pages I would have clapped because really, wow, Stephen Chbosky really did want to tick all the strong issues boxes, haha. /sarcasm. After 150 pages I would have needed a drink to handle all that fucking CRYING and talking and the total LACK of any attempt to actually DEAL with the issues piling up. No, three pages of so-called teenage philosop The book be like - CRY, BITCH. After 50 pages I would have written that The Perks of Being a Wallflower was poorly written, boring and tasteless. After 100 pages I would have clapped because really, wow, Stephen Chbosky really did want to tick all the strong issues boxes, haha. /sarcasm. After 150 pages I would have needed a drink to handle all that fucking CRYING and talking and the total LACK of any attempt to actually DEAL with the issues piling up. No, three pages of so-called teenage philosophy isn't enough. In the end I'm just pissed off by the plain MANIPULATION that is this book and by the way the last issue is taken care of - FUCK YOU, BOOK. No, really. Fuck you. I am very sorry for all the people on Earth who loved this book, and know that this review isn't about you. I started The Perks of Being a Wallflower expecting to love it. As it is, I cannot. Probably because it contains what I hate the most in Literature, this being : - The blatant use of manufactured drama trying to force me to feel things. It doesn't work like that. You do NOT involve a reader by creating an unrealistic overkill of serious issues, as if they were trying to outbid each other. There's a moment when I just don't care anymore. This is manipulative and disrespectful. It reads like a catalogue of the worst situations possible. - The fact that the sub-mentioned issues aren't given the time of a day and are just there. Nope. And because I know that people will tell me that it's realistic because Charlie is only 15, and that he can't analyze these issues in depth : yes, he cannot. THAT IS THE POINT. Why include so many issues - teen pregnancy, drinking, drugs, sexual identity, abuse, and so on - if they're only there to fill the book? WHY? I am the first to admit that we mustn't take teenagers for fools and that YA novels should picture these issues. But COME. ON. What is even the point if they're only brushed off? Is telling them that it happens to other people is going to make them feel better? Is telling them that we can ignore problems because everything is going to get better anyway (because fairies, I guess) A GOOD THING? I don't think so. And yes, when something like abuse is dealt in TWO pages, I do get the feeling that the book is telling me to move the fuck on. Also, that "beautiful" sentence, "we accept the love we think we deserve"? When applied to the situation? (view spoiler)[Charlie's sister being hit by her boyfriend (hide spoiler)] Please don't.* * I am not thick, of course I understand what this sentence is trying to say... But again, empty words. I would have probably loved it as a 14 years old. Now I'm just like, AND THEN WHAT? - Repetitive and choppy sentences all the way through, with a main character who can't decide if he's 10 or 40 or, I don't know, 5. I HATED the writing, I really did. - Characters who don't feel like teenagers at all - mainly Sam and Patrick, the super hipsters philosophers *snorts* The book be like - NOW SMILE, BITCH. ► I wish I would have read another Gary D. Schmidt novel instead. Overrated. For more of my reviews, please visit:

  15. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    nothing makes me feel more nostalgic than this book. this book is long summer nights, spent with those we so carefully let in, not caring about what the next year of school would bring. just those evenings where our only companions were the stars. because in those moments, i swear we were infinite. thats what this book is. those moments that truly define who we are and what happiness to means to us. this book is our teenage years filled with friendship, and angst, and heartbreak, and future plan nothing makes me feel more nostalgic than this book. this book is long summer nights, spent with those we so carefully let in, not caring about what the next year of school would bring. just those evenings where our only companions were the stars. because in those moments, i swear we were infinite. thats what this book is. those moments that truly define who we are and what happiness to means to us. this book is our teenage years filled with friendship, and angst, and heartbreak, and future planning, and everything in between. this book is the yearning for the past, whilst also looking forward to the days to come. my heart will always belong to the memories of this book. ↠ 4.5 stars

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    Resounding accuracy of the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood, goodreads? Um yeah, maybe if all kids teetering on the brink of adulthood made you question if they were autistic and spent the majority of their free time reading the classics and going to therapy. Don't get me wrong. This book is good. You want to find out what the deal is with the main character for the entire book and at the end, you eventually get a pretty damn good idea. But for the love, this is not the Catcher Resounding accuracy of the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood, goodreads? Um yeah, maybe if all kids teetering on the brink of adulthood made you question if they were autistic and spent the majority of their free time reading the classics and going to therapy. Don't get me wrong. This book is good. You want to find out what the deal is with the main character for the entire book and at the end, you eventually get a pretty damn good idea. But for the love, this is not the Catcher in the Rye for the 90s. And it's just unrealistic. You find out at the end why he is so weird, but the catch-22 about this book for me is that a kid with his kind of emotional issues probably never would have been able to experience the kind of social interaction he experiences and writes about throughout the book. Bottom line, kids are mean, especially in HS, and they would have been mean to this kid if he was as odd as he portrays himself to be in the "letters" he writes. In the book, the big denouement is catalyzed when he finally makes out with a girl he's had a crush on the whole book. In real life, that girl never would have even spoken to him, let alone gotten to the point of making out with him. Finally, there is a whole hippie vibe to this book that reminded me of a Wonder Years episode. You'd have no idea that it was supposed to take place in the early 90s if the diary entries hadn't been dated. The lack of relevant cultural references really bothered me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower: A. Free live sex shows but you are not allowed to tell anyone. B. Free LSD mixed in a brownie. C. Free to make out with girls who take fancy on you because you seem to be harmless. D. Free books because you are autistic hence you can finish a challenging book to read like Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” in 12 days and your English teacher wants to challenge you by giving you more and more books to read. E. All of the above. F. None of the above. I read this novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower: A. Free live sex shows but you are not allowed to tell anyone. B. Free LSD mixed in a brownie. C. Free to make out with girls who take fancy on you because you seem to be harmless. D. Free books because you are autistic hence you can finish a challenging book to read like Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” in 12 days and your English teacher wants to challenge you by giving you more and more books to read. E. All of the above. F. None of the above. I read this novel twice. The first time I read it, I was annoyed from first page to page 213 and I had no doubt that this book deserved a rating of 1: I did not like it! However, when I went through the existing ratings of my friends, most of the younger ones rated this with either a 5 or 4 and most of the older ones, either 2 or 3. I read their reviews and most of the older ones said something like “the teenagers seem to like this book.” while the younger ones said something like “I see myself in the Charlie’s character when I was his age.” So, I said maybe I should read this again, imagining that I was a 15-y/o man and see if I can relate to Charlie. That did the trick for me. Nope. When I was 15, I did not do drugs because I was still in the island as a 4th year high school student and I was sure there were no drugs in that small town. If there were, I am sure people would first prioritize buying food on the table rather than spend the money on drugs. Since we also did not have maids at home, I was busy with household chores: washing my family’s clothes every Saturday, ironing our school uniforms every Sunday, washing the dishes every evening (my older sister was in charge of cooking while my oldest brother was in charge of fetching water and the older one for washing dishes every noontime). Nor did I have sex because I was a virgin till I was on my last year in college. Nor did I have friends who made out in front of me because: A. I did not have exhibitionist friends. B. People in the island were conservative on those days so they frowned on homosexuals. I was sure they did their business in complete privacy so nothing like that came out during my time. In fact, during those years, there were only a couple of grownup men who I remember being referred to all so silently as homosexuals. But now, you go there and the homosexuals are all openly roaming the streets at daytime. C. I was a year younger than my classmates-friends and I swear I was clueless at the time they were already talking about finding their underwear wet in front when they woke up one morning or when their hair started to appear down there. In other words, I was not able to relate to Charlie but I still liked this book. Reasons: A. I dawned on me during my re-read that Charlie is actually addressing those letters to his readers, including me and he is a pure soul. Notice that despite all the sad things that happened to him during his first year in high school and even in the past, he did not bear grudges on anyone. He still see things positively and even wishes good life at all. This is in complete opposite to Holden Caulfield in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye who is full of teenage angst he calls all grownups “phony”. [BTW, Chbosky in Wiki says that this novel is one of his inspirations in writing “Wallflower”. In fact, this is one of the books, Bill asks Charlie to read.] B. This reminded me of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of a Dog at the Night-Time because of its take on autism. Charlie is an autistic child who gets straight A’s in all his subjects and can finish and appreciate 12 adult modern fiction books most of which have “heavy” themes: To Kill a Mockingbird, This Side of Paradise, Peter Pan, The Great Gatsby, A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye, On the Road, Naked Lunch, Walden, Hamlet, The Stranger and The Fountainhead just during his first year in high school. This is intriguing considering that Charlie’s style in writing barely changed from his first letter to the last so the learning or insights that he got from the books did not influence him in anyway. He is like a medical case in autism that whatever went inside his head while reading or the events that happened in his life during that year, 1991-1992 did not affect in anyway his outlook in life. He was a pure good soul through and through. C. Chbosky’s way of mimicking the sentence construction and grammar of a 15-y/o autistic boy plus the fact that the book is thin and slim encourages the reader to take this lightly, a book that one can breeze through and just say “the teenagers seem to like this book.” Wrong. Once you close the book, you will feel that there is something in the story that you missed and you will have that impulse to read through again. Chbosky hides his message on the simple and harmless looking letters, Charlie’s innocence and the unsaid words and untold stories, e.g., What is the significance of his favorite song Asleep by The Smiths in the story? (See the lyrics of the song at the end of this review). What happened to his aunt when she was a young girl? Why did Charlie’s father slap him? What happened to Charlie in the last letter? Did Patrick “Nothing” love Charlie? Why did not Chbosky give names to Charlie’s brother and sister? [In the soon-to-be-shown, movie adaptation, there seems to be no football-player older brother but his older sister has a name: Candance.] So, with these questions in mind, I went back to the first page and re-read almost every page except the ones that I found straightforward. I will not tell you my answers to those as that would be too much of spoilers. Overall, a very intriguing read. This is the first novel of Peter Chbosky (born 1970), an American novelist, screenwriter and film director. He wrote the screenplay of 2005 film Rent and he was co-creator of 2006 CBS television series, Jericho. So, he and this work, his first, should, in my opinion, not be taken lightly. That’s my only advice to those who are still to read this book. ASLEEP by The Smiths Sing me to sleep Sing me to sleep I'm tired and I I want to go to bed Sing me to sleep Sing me to sleep And then leave me alone Don't try to wake me in the morning 'Cause I will be gone Don't feel bad for me I want you to know Deep in the cell of my heart I will feel so glad to go Sing me to sleep Sing me to sleep I don't want to wake up On my own anymore Sing to me Sing to me I don't want to wake up On my own anymore Don't feel bad for me I want you to know Deep in the cell of my heart I really want to go There is another world There is a better world Well, there must be Well, there must be Well, there must be Well, there must be Well ...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    Drugs, abuse, child molestation, anything that would make people cry & be traumatizing for a teenager, it's all here in overdose, injected wherever possible into every character's life. How can the author be such a douche. I felt emotionally manipulated by this inconsistently written, I'm-trying-to-be-deep-and-real-and-strike-emotional-chords crying fest. So I Hulk-smashed it into the recycling bin. God.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mario

    I think that 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. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have. Damn, this book was amazing. And it's not one of those books where you figure out how amazing it is at the beginning, or even through the first half. It slowly creeps up on you. Or at least is slowly crept I think that 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. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have. Damn, this book was amazing. And it's not one of those books where you figure out how amazing it is at the beginning, or even through the first half. It slowly creeps up on you. Or at least is slowly crept up on me. And the more I read, the more I loved it. And now that I've read it, I can safely say that this book definitely will go on a list of my favorite books ever. And another thing I should mention is that I've been avoiding this book for a while. One of the reasons was because I thought it was over-hyped (silly me). But then, finally, we had to read this book for University, and I'm so glad that the professor choose this book. It was the first book which I had to read, that I absolutely loved. And I haven't seen the movie, so I didn't know anything about the plot. And I'm glad that that was the case. The Perks of Being A Wallflower is a coming-of-age story. But it is also so much more than that. It is a story about a boy named Charlie who just started high school. Because he felt alone and scared, he started writing letters to... well to whoever is reading this book. At the beginning, I didn't quite like Charlie as a character. He cried way too much, and was a bit weird. But as the book went, I started liking him more and more. I also stared understanding him, and actually relating to him. Also, I liked most of the other characters (some more, some less). Yeah, they all had some flaws, and they all did some things which I sometimes didn't understand why, but we all act like that sometimes. One more thing that I absolutely loved was the friendship between Charlie, Sam and Patrick. I really wish I had a friendship like they did, in my own high school. It would certainly made things easier. I also loved that this book felt so nostalgic. Even though I finished high school not that long ago, it still brought me back to days when I just started school. And I loved that it did. So many times I've read a quote that described perfectly how I felt back then (or sometimes even now), which I couldn't find words to describe. But Charlie described it perfectly. Now, I should probably stop here and end this review, before I get too emotional. So in conclusion, I loved this book, and I can't say how much I'm glad that I've finally read it. And I'm sure that I'll re-read it many times in the future.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    This is one of those books that has been on my TBR for years. I’m glad I finally made the time to listen to it. Charlie’s story is an endearing coming of age tale. It’s a journey. Charlie is finding himself, who his true friends are, and really coming into his own. I loved Charlie’s character. He was such a real and genuine person. Sam and Patrick were fantastic, too. Now that I’ve finally made the time to read this, I’m looking forward to watching the film!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Ok. So, why does no one really mention that Charlie seems to be a high functioning autistic? I mean, there's a difference between shy or wallflower, and autistic. The way he doesn't understand social norms, his thought process, his actions (and inactions in certain situations), even the awkward ways he expresses his feelings. They all point to someone who sees the world differently than the rest of us. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm totally misreading what Chbosky was trying to portray. Or maybe Chbos Ok. So, why does no one really mention that Charlie seems to be a high functioning autistic? I mean, there's a difference between shy or wallflower, and autistic. The way he doesn't understand social norms, his thought process, his actions (and inactions in certain situations), even the awkward ways he expresses his feelings. They all point to someone who sees the world differently than the rest of us. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm totally misreading what Chbosky was trying to portray. Or maybe Chbosky didn't even realize what he was portraying. See, I love a mildly autistic kid. I love him a whole hellava lot. So. This book touched me in my soft spot. Honestly? I'm not really sure I can give it an unprejudiced review. Hmmm. Well, the reviews are quite divided between my friends. And even though I loved it, I can see why some of them didn't. Charlie's friends? Sam & Patrick were 20somthing hipsters that do not exist in high school. No, not even seniors who've been through things are that deep, that mature, or that introspective. I'm sorry, but it doesn't happen. You may believe you or your friends were that way. But I challenge anyone who thinks that, to go back and read some of their shitty poetry or obnoxiously angsty diary entries. You thought you were waaay more mature than you really were. I swear. However, it does express how some people remember themselves. So, there's that. Some people also have a problem with all of the underage drinking, drug use, and sex. Ehhh. Ok, I get why they don't like it, but it happens. I did all of that when I was in high school. Although, once again, I wasn't quite as cool or mature about it as these guys. Anyway, if you want to pretend that nobody gets drunk til they turn 21, or gets laid till they turn 18? More power to you. However, it's not only unrealistic, but it has been unrealistic for manymany years. And teenagers (while not suave) aren't stupid. If you want to align yourself with the bury-your-head-in-the-sand groups, then I can almost guarantee they'll think you're stupid, too. So, good luck getting them to take your advice seriously! Ok, last but not least, there's quite a few complaints about how many issues these kids have to deal with. Rape, molestation, suicide, gay bashing, bullying, the list goes on. Well, let me think... No one I knew killed themselves. I guess I'm biased, but I loved this book. And I loved Charlie. I just hope my Charlie has the courage to participate in life the way this one did. Minus the LSD! Because, really, that shit can be pretty fucking awful.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Marr

    "And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." URGH! I hate that quote! It smacks of a forced whimsy and I bet you that nobody actually knows what it means because they don't want to be outed as a non-cool kid, so everyone pretends that it's deep instead of perhaps the matter of the truth - that it probably doesn't make any sense and therefore means squat all. This quote just makes me think of this: The Infinite Cat Project. But that type of infinity is better because it a) involves cats and c) "And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." URGH! I hate that quote! It smacks of a forced whimsy and I bet you that nobody actually knows what it means because they don't want to be outed as a non-cool kid, so everyone pretends that it's deep instead of perhaps the matter of the truth - that it probably doesn't make any sense and therefore means squat all. This quote just makes me think of this: The Infinite Cat Project. But that type of infinity is better because it a) involves cats and c) is actually cool because it knows that its own infinity doesn't have a point. As you can probably tell, I went into this book not expecting to like it much. Actually secretly, I probably just wanted to make fun of hipsters and also the very Nineties photo of the author on the back cover (is that a chambray shirt I see?). What I didn't expect was to like it. Yes. I really liked The Perks of Being a Wallflower! I am not as pugnacious as not to be won over by excellent writing, characterisation and this oh so black and dry sense of humour. If this humour was any blacker and drier, it would be beef jerky. Written as a set of letters from a young teen Charlie to an identified reader, this format is fraught with danger. I mean, to read like a proper letter, each 'chapter" can't be too long, it must be frank and it can't smack of looking like it has a plot because then it might as well be a normal chapter book. On the other hand, can letters be interesting and can it possibly amount to anything in the end? The verdict on my behalf is mixed. Chbosky nails the letter part. Charlie's revelations don't hold much back and they read very naturally and convincingly. The portrait that he paints of his friends and family are beautiful - and even managed to melt my heart in Part 2 with the descriptions of the extended family and the grumpy old Great Grandfather in particular. And it is dead funny. Especially the straight-face and dead-pan narrative of Charlie and his first girlfriend Mary Elizabeth who wants to "expose" him to the cool things in life, which manages to poke fun at hipsters ... within a book aimed at hipsters. Just like that song Pumped Up Kicks that makes the hipsters want to dance, but it actually about domestic violence. Stephen Chbosky, your humour pleases me. On the "undecided" front, I am not sure about Charlie himself as a character. He doesn't seem smart enough to be the genius he is touted as (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time runs rings over this) and the fact the author wants to make him some type of Holden Caufield shows and is awkward. But I like Charlie and his good intentions (even though I am not convinced of him). Like how he believes he should buy a present for his mum on his own birthday cos she was there too. Wow. Like, seriously, you're making my heart drop. On the no-no-no front... I was going to cruise home with four stars, but the ending ruined it for me. Stephen Chbosky - why do you take a wonderful female character that you have so carefully built with so much respect for womankind, who ends up as my favourite character - only to have her sprout some out-of-character drivel (that makes even less sense that your la-la-la about infinity) and then proceed to destroy her? I know you wrote a book about self-sabotaging emos, but are you one yourself? And also. An epilogue. What? This is a set of letters, you didn't want to write a traditional novel remember? Why does it have an epilogue then? I've never received "an epilogue" in the post before. That kinda snapped me out of the special space where I believed I was the receiver of Charlie's "letters" and then it suddenly made me realise I was reading a "novel". Aww, disappointed. Finally, let me address you directly, dear author, in the spirit of The Perks. Dear Mr Chbosky, Overall, a brave and different novel. I like the way that all the violence against the passive females in the text made me, a female reader, feel extremely aggressive and I went ahhhh. I know what you are doing. I love you Stephen (can I call you that?). You are smart. You almost had me. Not quite, but if you're in town and still have that chambray shirt and that slicked back hair - call me. Leave that pick up line of yours at home. Love, Shirley This review also appears on my blog Books on Marrs. While I am contemplating my own infinity-ness, let me compose a poem to Reynje, who read this book with me. Make sure you check out her review. It will make your eyes hurt from its brilliance. Money guaranteed. Ode to the Space Between Us (for Reynje) A poem that is so hip, it only sporadicaly ryhmes Once in a city called Perth The most isolated capital city in the world Population three Tim Winton, Sam Worthington and me And also the most windiest in the world I blame it on Tim Winton I feel so cold and lonely So I wrap my scarf around me tighter And think of Reynje on the East Coast Knitting a tea cosy around a cat Because she is a hipster And we read The Perks of Being a Wallflower together And I cry And The Fremantle Doctor dries my eyes And I ask Tim Winton Why they call the wind The Doctor And Tim says to me In Yea Olde Days When everyone died from the plague Except me and Tim and Sam They burnt all the bodies at Freo And the wind carried the plumes into Perth And the air smelt like death Tim Winton says West Aussies are a bunch of ironic bastards But with a happenin' sense of humour Isn’t that very hipsterish? And I cry And I mourn for my childhood And all I want to do is drink brandy with Reynje And listen to her Smiths records But I can never leave But it doesn’t matter Because I am inifinite And The Doctor brings hope from the sea Tomorrow, I will go surfing with Tim Winton But only because Kirsty Eagar is not available ... Previously... I got the snot yellow/green one! Jump on my Fixie, Reynje? It's another beaut Great Aussie Coast-to-Coast readalong! Starring Reynje... as the misunderstood geek girl who wears glasses that don't actually have any glass in them. Shirley... as the overgrown 20 something year old trying to relieve her glory tween years in a 90s throwback flannel shirt and wool cap.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annalisa

    3. 5 stars. I almost didn't finish this book. The main character was so hard to figure out. He was supposed to be intelligent but he was so naive. I get being book smart but dumb streetwise, but it was basic social and life knowledge that he didn't get. One minute he seemed wise beyond his years and the next he acted like a child thrust into a teenage life. There were also a couple of scenes that I didn't think were believable. I almost put the book down (view spoiler)[at the rape scene. There is 3. 5 stars. I almost didn't finish this book. The main character was so hard to figure out. He was supposed to be intelligent but he was so naive. I get being book smart but dumb streetwise, but it was basic social and life knowledge that he didn't get. One minute he seemed wise beyond his years and the next he acted like a child thrust into a teenage life. There were also a couple of scenes that I didn't think were believable. I almost put the book down (view spoiler)[at the rape scene. There is no way a guy and his girlfriend would go that far with a middle schooler staring at them, much more if it weren't consensual. (hide spoiler)] It seemed like Chbosky was throwing in random drama just to make his novel edgy (I hate that) and was wandering aimlessly. I almost gave it up. But I kept going. Partly because it was a quick read and partly because the voice was almost amazing. It would have been a great voice had it not been so fraught with inconsistencies, had it not been so hard to figure out, and had it not made so many observations about what adults must think that didn't feel real (more like Chbosky telling us what teenagers will learn when they aren't teenagers anymore). But sometimes I enjoyed Charlie's observations, especially about how a song on a radio while you're driving can make you feel infinite. I know it's a cheesy one-liner, but it reminded me of being a teenager. He did have some great moments as a narrator. In the end, I'm glad I finished the book. The second half of the book was much better than the first, and by the end I got Charlie. Once he made a little more sense, I could appreciate his story. Plus, I liked the feeling of the epilogue, the way I felt bittersweet and nostalgic when I closed the book. I can see why it's a cult classic. I'd probably like it better if I read it a second time, and probably would have loved it had I read it as a teenager.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister

    *5 Stars* A touching and emotional portrayal of an ordinary boy finding his significance... The brilliance and beauty of this book is discreet and quiet. We have Charlie — the awkward, lovable narrator — revealing his story through a consistent flow of letters to a "friend". The letters are candid and based off emotion — exactly what you'd expect from a teenaged perspective. There is no specific plot design; no standard structure this story follows, In fact, at first glance, you may be inclined t *5 Stars* A touching and emotional portrayal of an ordinary boy finding his significance... The brilliance and beauty of this book is discreet and quiet. We have Charlie — the awkward, lovable narrator — revealing his story through a consistent flow of letters to a "friend". The letters are candid and based off emotion — exactly what you'd expect from a teenaged perspective. There is no specific plot design; no standard structure this story follows, In fact, at first glance, you may be inclined to believe that Charlie, with his ordinary life and underwhelming social status, is not so significant. But, you'd be mistaken. If I seem overly protective over Charlie, it's because I am. And not only for the the fictional Charlie in this story, but for every real life "Charlie" out there — living life in the shadows, never realizing his own significance, his own brilliance. I wasn't expecting this story to captivate me so completely, but it has. So here's a bit about Charlie: Charlie is, as the title reveals, a wallflower. He's a thinker rather than a doer. He tends to wait for the approval of others before he makes his move. He doesn't really live life, he's more of a watcher. I didn't know that other people thought things about me. I didn't know they looked. You're probably wondering where his brilliance lies by now, right? Well here it is: Charlie has the unique ability to put other people's happiness before his own. He sees the good in everyone, even in those who've clearly done him wrong. He's completely selfless and entirely kind — the real "kind", not the showy kind. Charlie counts every kiss, every hug, and every kind word spoken to him. He relishes these moments, and never fails to recognize their worth. Even being a part of an inside joke makes him genuinely happy and appreciative. His character is young and the way he expresses himself comes across as simple. But his messages are deep and his thoughts so profound they take a moment to digest. He doesn't complain or pity himself. He has an honesty that's endearing — the kind that truly inspires. Yes, he cries a lot. And he has his reasons. He's not perfect and doesn't claim to be. In fact, he doesn't claim to be anything because he's more focused on the well being of others. This story isn't action packed or angsty. It moves slowly and gradually pulls the reader in. It uses a gentle and simple method to deliver its power — which I found magnified its effects. It boldly narrows in on a time of life that can be very complicated: our teen years. Although it may initially seem as though this story has no distinct direction, its importance subtly shows itself, if you care enough to look ... Just like Charlie. And I loved that the structure mimicked the makings of its lead hero. This author did an incredible job bringing Charlie to life by creating a universal character with whom so many can resonate, and on varying levels. This is the first time a story so seemingly simple has chilled me to the bone, and I honestly felt my eyes were opened just a little bit wider as a result. Simply beautiful! I just want you to know that you're very special ... and the only reason I'm telling you this is that I don't know if anyone else ever has. As far as who the recipient of Charlie's letters is: (view spoiler)[I believe it's Charlie, writing to "himself" ... To the person he was during those moments he blacked out; the person who did things he never would; the person who "didn't sleep with her, even though he could have". (hide spoiler)] *Trigger warning: There are some very serious, darker issues touched upon within this plot — such as rape, abuse, and mental illness — but the story refrains from delving too deeply into these matters, focusing more on Charlie's understanding and perspective of it all. This book doesn't act as a guide on how to handle such issues, it simply passes through an emotional piece of a young boy's life* Book Stats: ▪ Genre/Category: Young Adult ▪ Characters: Hero is a wallflower. Humble and extremely insightful. ▪ Plot: A young boy finding his significance in life. ▪ Writing: Told through the letters of a teen boy. ▪ POV: 1st Person: Hero (narrator) ▪ Cliffhanger: None/Standalone

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up. 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, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up. 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. I think you of all people would understand that because I think you of all people are alive and appreciate what that means. At least I hope you do because other people look to you for strength and friendship and it’s that simple. At least that’s what I’ve heard. 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. ... عنوانها: شاه بوف بودن؛ مزایای سر به زیر بودن؛ مزایای گوشه گیر بودن؛ مزایای خجالتی بودن؛ نویسنده: استیون (استیفن - استفان) چبوسکی (چباسکی)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم ماه دسامبر سال 2016 میلادی عنوان: شاه بوف بودن؛ نویسنده: استیون (استیفن - استفان) چبوسکی (چباسکی)؛ مترجم: کاوان بشیری؛ تهران، میلکان، 1394، در 250 ص، شابک: 9786007845370؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 21 م عنوان: مزایای سر به زیر بودن؛ نویسنده: استفان چباسکی؛ مترجم: محمدرضا قاسمی؛ تهران، آذرباد، 1395، در 240 ص، شابک: 9786008537069؛ عنوان فیلم: مزایای گوشه گیر بودن؛ نویسنده و کارگردان: استیفن چبوسکی؛ تهیه‌ کننده: راسل اسمیت؛ جان مالکوویچ؛ براساس رمان: مزایای خجالتی بودن؛ بازیگران: لوگان لرمان؛ اما واتسون؛ ازرا میلر؛ نینا دوبرو؛ پل راد؛ موسیقی: مایکل بروک؛ فیلم‌برداری: اندرو دان؛ تدوین: ماری جو مارکی؛ تاریخ‌های انتشار: 21 سپتامبر 2012؛ مدت زمان: 103 دقیقه؛ کشور: ایالات متحده آمریکا؛ زبان: انگلیسی؛ هزینهٔ فیلم: 13 میلیون دلار؛ فروش گیشه: 33 میلیون و 348 هزار و 127 دلار چارلی نوجوانی گوشه گیر و منزوی ست که به تازگی وارد دبیرستان شده؛ چارلی هیچ دوستی ندارد و اوقات فراغتش را با نوشتن نامه به دوست خیالی خویش پر میکند. آشنایی او با پاتریک و خواهرش سم، دریچه ای برای ورود به زندگی جدید است، اما علی‌رغم همه ی اینها چیزی چارلی را آزار میدهد. او مدام تصاویری از گذشته ی تاریک خود میبیند و طولی نمی‌کشد که حقیقتی وحشتناک برایش برملا میشود. ا. شربیانی

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    Passivity vs. Passion … Yes Charlie ~~ I know all too well what it’s like. Charlie is an outsider ~~ a typical wallflower. He gets bullied at school and prefers taking the forty minute walk home instead of the school bus. Written in the form of letters from Charlie to an anonymous recipient, it is a compelling read. Don't let its simplicity fool you, as this book has much depth. Readers learn that Charlie has many secrets that have been entrusted to him; one in particular has caused him to beco Passivity vs. Passion … Yes Charlie ~~ I know all too well what it’s like. Charlie is an outsider ~~ a typical wallflower. He gets bullied at school and prefers taking the forty minute walk home instead of the school bus. Written in the form of letters from Charlie to an anonymous recipient, it is a compelling read. Don't let its simplicity fool you, as this book has much depth. Readers learn that Charlie has many secrets that have been entrusted to him; one in particular has caused him to become a quiet person without a voice, letting people do what they want to him. (view spoiler)[He passively witnesses a rape, has a girlfriend he doesn't really like, aids his sister in getting an abortion, takes drugs and alcohol others give him, smokes, and even lets his grieving gay friend Patrick kiss him just to make Patrick feel better. (hide spoiler)] These things upset Charlie, but he internalizes them. Sam, the girl he desires from a distance, encourages Charlie to form his own opinions, speak his mind, and to show passion about his desires. Charlie himself is a mystery. He has mental problems, gets angry, sees things and then passes out and cries. Right before he started high school his best friend shot himself, but there is also another, worse reason for his problems. At school Charlie meets Patrick and Sam, both of whom are outsiders too, just cooler ones. Patrick is gay and before his stepsister Sam introduced him to "good" music, he was a popular kid. They introduce Charlie to all kinds of new things. Parties, drugs, Rocky Horror, Billie Holliday and rock music become new parts of Charlie's life. For the first time in his life, Patrick knows what it really means to have good friends. Charlie's immediate family is loving and supportive. Charlie's friend Patrick is gay and in a relationship that is accepted in their social circle. Homophobia is present, however--a boy is beaten by his father for being gay after he’s caught being intimate with Patrick, and Patrick is in turn beaten by his boyfriend and the football jocks at school. Aren’t we all too familiar with the set-up where the loser turns out to be the really cool, popular guy? Well, all this is true too for The Perks of Being a Wallflower but just wait and you will find so much more. This book is going to catch and surprise you every time you turn a page. In a series of letters written by Charlie and sent to an anonymous person we learn about his life, his new friends, his family and especially Charlie himself. He writes about school and his English teacher, Bill, who gives Charlie extra books to read. Charlie then writes essays about them. He would like to become a writer someday. What makes this book so special and authentic is its reality. As an adult it takes you back to when you were a teenager, as a child it shows you what lies ahead and as a teenager it inspires you. And as we all know there is no other time when finding out who you are and where you belong to is more immediate than when you are a teenager.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Bloody awful. Imagine this: The Catcher In The Rye was fucked rough by A Million Little Pieces. The zygote's DNA was re-spliced with 1980's panic journalism and bombarded with x-rays for six months. It was then delivered premature on a bloody altar beneath a full moon and methodically, repeatedly dropped on its head by Chuck Palahniuk. Any plot whose central premise is an amnesia of the daytime TV variety belongs in a very special category. For me that category is "books to be burned with their a Bloody awful. Imagine this: The Catcher In The Rye was fucked rough by A Million Little Pieces. The zygote's DNA was re-spliced with 1980's panic journalism and bombarded with x-rays for six months. It was then delivered premature on a bloody altar beneath a full moon and methodically, repeatedly dropped on its head by Chuck Palahniuk. Any plot whose central premise is an amnesia of the daytime TV variety belongs in a very special category. For me that category is "books to be burned with their authors atop the pyre." If you loved it, fuck you.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    Not for the first time, I find myself reading a book about ten years too late and being utterly incapable of connecting with it on any level. Someone probably should have made me read this when I was in high school, and I most likely would have reviewed it more favorably - then again, I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was fifteen and found Holden Caulfield to be utterly insufferable, so it's entirely possible that I just do not care about the struggle of the middle-class teenage white boy. Re Not for the first time, I find myself reading a book about ten years too late and being utterly incapable of connecting with it on any level. Someone probably should have made me read this when I was in high school, and I most likely would have reviewed it more favorably - then again, I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was fifteen and found Holden Caulfield to be utterly insufferable, so it's entirely possible that I just do not care about the struggle of the middle-class teenage white boy. Reading this as an adult, all the issues hidden in the text were glaringly obvious. I kept waiting for the English teacher to turn out to be a total creep, but instead he just keeps telling Charlie how smart he is and being the perfect high school teacher that no one actually had, ever (apparently he's played by Paul Rudd in the movie version, which should have been a tip-off that his character was going to be perfect in every way). And why are these high school kids hanging out with a guy who's already graduated? I can't decide what's sadder - that a bunch of teenagers don't realize how pathetic their older friend is, or that the guy seems to think that these teenagers (for whom he provides drugs and alcohol and a safe place to consume them) are really his friends. Also, the writing. Stephen Chbosky is either the worst writer in the world, or he's a genius who is able to perfectly capture the shitty, self-absorbed voice of the average fifteen-year-old. Considering how gifted and smart Charlie is, I would have expected his writing to be a little better, but as it is, the book was like reading my old high school diaries, and I'm still suffering from secondhand embarrassment. Thank God I deleted my Livejournal back in college. I tried very hard to sympathize with Charlie. I am aware that he has been through hell and he Has Issues, but for Christ's sake could he stop bursting into tears every five pages? Throughout the book, every time Charlie would start crying because, I don't know, the wind hit him at the wrong angle, I would stare at the pages and think, "If you were a female character, readers would hate you. They would mock you endlessly and say you were pathetic. If you were written as a girl, no one would have any sympathy for you at all." And that made me sad. There were brief flashes in this book, little pieces of writing, where even as a cynical twenty-five-year-old I was able to read them and understand why teenagers connect so hard with this book. Like when Charlie writes: "I wish that God or my parents or Sam or my sister or someone would just tell me what's wrong with me. Just tell me how to be different in a way that makes sense. To make this all go away. And disappear. I know that's wrong because it's my responsibility, and I know that things get worse before they get better because that's what my psychiatrist says, but this is a worse that feels too big." (quick note to all the teenagers reading this review: that feeling that Charlie is describing doesn't go away when you leave high school. Have fun!) And the book's subtle lesson struck me deeply: loving your friends and supporting them is important, but not at the expense of your own happiness. But for the most part, I read this book and could only think one thing: thank CHRIST I'm not fifteen anymore.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jo (An Unexpected Book Hoarder)

    One of the most important things that I appreciate and love about books, is that they remind me that I still have a heart, and that heart is a rather fragile thing, especially when one reads "The perks of being a Wallflower" I'll admit, I was slightly apprehensive about reading this, as I'd seen the film a long while ago, and I thought it was pretty average. The book, however, was not. I love the word "Wallflower" There is just something about it that I like, apart from the fact that I used to ac One of the most important things that I appreciate and love about books, is that they remind me that I still have a heart, and that heart is a rather fragile thing, especially when one reads "The perks of being a Wallflower" I'll admit, I was slightly apprehensive about reading this, as I'd seen the film a long while ago, and I thought it was pretty average. The book, however, was not. I love the word "Wallflower" There is just something about it that I like, apart from the fact that I used to actually be a Wallflower, way back in those days when I attended school. I kind of fluttered about hoping that nobody noticed me, just quietly learning, soaking up information like a sponge, and just silently attempting to get on in life. I worried about my appearance, my weight, and I was definitely concerned that if I spoke that my voice would not be heard. Well, those days are long gone, and I found my voice as soon as I left school, and I've not once looked back. I think that partly, is why this book spoke to me. I found it relatable. I love that the book was set out in letter format. For me, that made the book more poignant. I think Charlie, the main character, was excellent. I am as introverted as he is, but possibly not as academically gifted. The character development in this story was excellent. I felt emotion for the different characters, and the problems that they were facing and going through, especially Charlie. The one character I kind of disliked was Brad. He was a dick. The fact that this book centres around mental health too, I think is tremendously important, and that is why I think more people should read it. There has forever been a stigma with mental health, not as bad as it was years ago but nevertheless, it exists. Mental health issues don't just disappear with some medication, or with the click of your fingers. It takes time, support and adjustment, and the majority of the time, it is difficult to overcome. I think that I could read this book in ten years time, and still have the same appreciation for it that I do now. Thank you Stephen Chbosky, I really, REALLY needed that.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩

    Actual rating: 4.5 stars So, I've read this twice now. The first time I read it, I think I was about 14 years old and I believe I originally gave it three stars. But after waiting a few years and reading it again, discussing it with my book group at school, and seeing the movie (which I loved), my appreciation for it has grown immensely. And I think there's a lot of things I missed out on or didn't sympathize with as much when I read it as a younger teenager. Thus, I'm bumping my rating up to 4.5 Actual rating: 4.5 stars So, I've read this twice now. The first time I read it, I think I was about 14 years old and I believe I originally gave it three stars. But after waiting a few years and reading it again, discussing it with my book group at school, and seeing the movie (which I loved), my appreciation for it has grown immensely. And I think there's a lot of things I missed out on or didn't sympathize with as much when I read it as a younger teenager. Thus, I'm bumping my rating up to 4.5 stars (and rounding it up to 5 because Goodreads doesn't allow half-ratings, hmmph). There are a lot of things I love about this book. First of all, it covers a lot of important issues without (usually) coming off as too preachy or trying to be too controversial. I say "usually" because there are times I feel when it gets to be a little too much. I mean, everyone's life in this book is really screwed up––and while I think addressing all these issues is important, it does feel like overkill at times and not entirely realistic. So, there are some parts that seem unnecessary to the plot. But for the most part, Chbosky handles the controversial subjects very well, and deals with them in a careful manner without hitting the reader over the head with it. Secondly, I love the writing. It's interesting how it starts out being rather mediocre and almost painful to read, but improves a lot throughout the book as Charlie learns more and more about how to write more skillfully. (Someone in my book group brought up that it was somewhat similar to Flowers for Algernon in that regard). We see a lot of growth in Charlie just in his writing style alone. And I just love how Charlie says everything, how can get across so much meaning in so few words. It's one of those books that is able to put complicated thoughts into very understandable sentences. I understand why many people feel that this book has changed their lives and/or saved them. While reading it a second time, I came to realize just how often I had those moments where I thought, "Wow, I've always had a thought like that but I've never known how to put it into words." As you can see below, I like a lot of quotes from this book. There are just so many little things in it that speak to me. (Random note: OH GOD I just accidentally turned off my computer but when I turned it on again this review was still here and didn't get deleted. PRAISE THE LORD.) Anyway ... back to what I was saying. So, I think that's what's the most important thing about this book. It speaks to people. And sure, there are a lot of people dislike the way this book is written or think it's unrealistic or that it's a pretentious piece of hipster crap. But, in the end, it has still changed a lot of people's lives. I don't think it has impacted me quite as much as it has a lot of other kids, but I'm just very glad that this book exists because I think a lot of suffering teenagers can find themselves in it. And although I haven't gone through a lot of the horrendous things that characters suffer in this book, it's still something I found comforting to read merely as someone who has dealt with anxiety/depression. Although it's a dark book in a lot of ways, ultimately it conveys a lot of optimism that things won't always be this bad. I can't find the quote unfortunately, but there's one part about just waiting for the happy moments in life ... and when you experience them, you try to remind yourself that you will be happy again just like you are now, and how difficult that can be. I'm not saying it as well as Chbosky does, but I just think that idea is so easy to relate to––that when you're depressed, it's hard waiting for those happy moments, but they do happen. And ultimately, you're not alone and you have family and friends who can help you. I'm kind of rushing now because I have to go out of the house. But I think that about covers it anyway. Basically, I think this book does a great job portraying high school life and showing depressed teenagers that they are not alone.

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