Saturday, January 5, 2013

the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through 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.

My take: 5 looks
When I finished this book, I just sat and stared at the floor, allowing this epistle to fall around my mind and settle in its place. It is very affecting. It is very dark. While it has doses of humor, the feelings that it employs are very real, piercing and difficult to feel ... again.

Everyone tells me that high school makes "the best years of your life". Well, I am not sure where these people went to high school, but I wouldn't go back to those years for any amount of money or fame. The years of a high schooler are grueling, confusing, treacherous and painful. You are growing mentally, academically, physically, emotionally and independently. Like a moth becoming a butterfly, tearing yourself out of that cocoon is quite a feat, and not all survive, some are damaged and very few of us see those years as our best.

This is a clear and concise account of a teen making the transition from boy to young man. The fact that he has a mental issue on top of it makes the story even more poignant rather than out-of-touch. It adds to his struggle. The solid family life, the teacher who reaches out to him and his coping mechanisms are very real and true. I loved the constant references to books (and the fact that read them over and over), and his need to provide a meaningful soundtrack to whatever circumstance in which he found himself.

This book is a period of time of a real life; a real boy; a real situation. Highly recommended.

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