Friday, April 29, 2011

The Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I need to thank my cousin for recommending this book to me. I literally read it in one day. It's a YA book, which helps explain that, and it's going to be a movie starring Hermione Granger (okay, I know she has a real name, but whatever). The reviews compare it to Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace, but I felt more like Catcher in the Rye and The Pigman.

I'm trying to find the right adjective to describe this book, and clever and compelling are both close but not quite it. I liked that this is a coming of age story that took place in the 1990s, when I was in middle school and high school, so that made it very relatable. Also, it was written as a series of letters, and I found the voice to be very accurate. There were the run on sentences similar to the way I thought in high school, and there were some grammatical errors, just as would have happened had someone been writing letters that they hadn't bothered to proofread.

If I hadn't known better I would have guessed that Charlie was a girl, because he thought many of the same things I thought in high school, but maybe teenage boys think that way, too, and just don't tell teenage girls. I have never claimed to understand the inner workings of the teenage boy mind.

You never find out who it is that Charlie is writing the letters to, which is a little frustrating. Sometimes I felt like it was Sam, and other times Bill, and sometimes even his Aunt Helen, or maybe that we were the ones receiving the letters and we had never met Charlie.

My mother is very good at guessing the ending of books and movies. I shouldn't say guessing; she frequently just knows. I rarely just know, and while I wouldn't say that the ending of the book was a surprise, once I reached the end, little details throughout made sense.

The book is divided into four parts and an epilogue. I didn't find any value in the way the book was divided up, so that editorial choice is probably my one main criticism of the book.

All in all, I thought it was a great read, with relatable, interesting characters. It's not a new story, as coming-of-age stories rarely are, but it was still captivating.

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