#80 The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a WallflowerI had been meaning to read Steven Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower right after watching the movie adaptation of the novel (I can’t believe I watched the movie before reading the book). Since the movie was so popular, I couldn’t get my hands on the novel for quite awhile. Fortunately for me, with all the other book to movie adaptations out there right now, I finally found a copy at the library.

I have heard and read countless raving reviews for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I can’t say that I didn’t absolutely love this novel. I’ll even admit that this may be the best coming-of-age novel I’ve read to date. Charlie is such an honest character.

“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.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that way. Chbosky beautifully depicts how life as a 15 year old can be at times and Charlie was the perfect kind of character to use. I loved that even though I wasn’t born yet when Charlie is writing to his “friend”, the issues with his friends that he discusses are the same kind of problems I faced (and still face) when I was growing up. It also kind of makes me sad that the issues his friend Patrick has to face with being gay are still problematic today.

Even though the way The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written (in letter form) drove me crazy, Chbosky makes Charlie’s journey easy to follow as well as easy to empathize with. Despite the devastating and heartbreaking occurrences in the novel, I ended The Perks of Being a Wildflower with happy tears and 5 stars on Goodreads. I only had one question after finishing; who the hell was he writing letters to?

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4 thoughts on “#80 The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  1. I liked both the book and the movie a lot in different ways. In the book I liked Charlie best, in the movie I liked Charlie less but found Patrick more compelling. I honestly pictured Charlie being a bit more youthful than Logan Lerman (Lerman looks too old to be fifteen, more like twenty-something) but I still thought he did a decent job, way better than he was in “Percy Jackson.” I have depression so I related to Charlie (though what he has is more like PTSD from being sexually abused.) Some parts in the book were elaborated on in the movie that I found rather vague while reading.

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    • I agree, I liked Charlie a lot more in the book than I did in the movie. Given his innocence and age, I would have also liked to see a younger actor play Charlie. However, I have to admit I wasn’t disappointed with the movie like I am with a lot of other book to movie adaptations. That’s the one thing I really didn’t like about the book, some parts I would’ve liked to have been elaborated on. I’m not a huge fan of vague.

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      • Have you seen/read “The Lovely Bones?” Peter Jackson f’ing raped that movie (pun sorta intended, as rape was a big part of Alice Sebold’s nonetheless beautiful novel. The book delicately handled deep and compelling themes and Peter Jackson turned it into a special effects extravaganza. Saving grace- Stanley Tucci’s pitch-perfect performance as Susie’s killer. Otherwise one of the most tone-deaf book to movie adaptations. It seems like real high schoolers never play high schoolers in American movies. I see a consistent pattern with 24-30 year-olds playing teen kids.

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  2. I have only seen part of the movie and have yet to read the actual book. I love the idea behind “The Lovely Bones”, and have heard that Sebold approaches sensitive subjects rather delicately which I appreciate. I think I would enjoy movie to book adaptations more regularly if the characters were represented more realistically.

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