Monday, 4 March 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower * Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

'I walk around the school hallways and look at the teachers and wonder why they're here.  Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day...or wondering who did the breaking and wondering why.'

Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. 

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way uncharted territory: The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perceptive. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. 

Being new is one thing, but starting school with no friends is another. So when Charlie goes for a walk and ends up at the school bleachers, he walks up to two people. One of whom is in his shop class and the other he has no clue. He soon becomes close friends with sophomores Patrick and Sam, who take him under their wings and shows him the ropes of school and teenage life. 

Then there's his English teacher Bill, who gives Charlie a new book to read every month or so. Bill sees that Charlie is different from all the other students and  special. Not in a mean kind of way, but just the way his mind works from others. He sees that he has a real spark in his learning and he makes Charlie do various essays on the books that he reads and Charlie enjoys doing them. 

As his friendship grows with Sam and Patrick, he ends up in all sorts of places all over town. He goes to parties and drinks, smokes drugs and sometimes takes some too, though only when he is drunk. He is always safe and feels secure when he is around Sam or Patrick and they carry on to look after him until they leave school. 

Family life at home for Charlie is different, his dad is pretty strict, his mum is in her own world sometimes, his sister never really has time for him and his brother is off at college playing football. Although he knows they all love him very much, he still feels lost without that family connection. So he turns to his Aunt Helen, who he misses ever so much. He misses the times where they would watch TV, but that was never going to happen again.

Then there's The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where they all either dress up and act out the play altogether or they sit and watch on the side lines. Patrick is always Frank N' Furter and Sam is always Janet. Which Charlie likes the most.  

Finding new friends along the way, different paths in life and The Rocky Horror Picture Show what could go wrong for Charlie. He lives for an adventure and is always in high spirits, well, most of the time. Join Charlie as he takes you out on a ride through his life. It's a trip you won't forget. 

This book was brilliant and I could read it again and again. The way Charlie's character is written is wonderful and I honestly think that Charlie is now one of my favourite characters ever. I love the way the book is wrote in like diary entries to someone that you never find out who it is. It's just a mystery you will never get. 

I feel that this book had a really deep meaning with everything that went off in it, especially the ending as it all tied together on why Charlie is a bit messed up in places. I felt that as the story progressed, each character started to play out the roles of The Rocky Horror Picture Show characters, to their own characters in the book. With Patrick playing Frank N' Furter and the sexuality thing, and Sam who portrayed Janet, who couldn't make her mind up who she was. 

I think you need to at least know or have seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show to understand the book a bit, plus it will make it more interesting to read. There are many times throughout the book that I wanted to join then in the plays. 

Charlie is portrayed as what I think a 15 going on 16 year old boy who is a bit confused in where he is and where he should be. Where he should fit in and who is friends are, and I think everyone feels that as they grow up, and come to terms with who their real friends are and who aren't. 

Charlie is a wonderful character that you will grow to love if you read it, his choice in words and how he sees things in life is wonderful and truly beautiful. It's all about friends and family and finding yourself along the way. 

I will give this book a 10 out of 10. I am placing this as a classic book that everyone should read. 

P.s: I am so glad I didn't watch the film first, and read the book instead. 

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