Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I just read the most amazing book by Stephen Chbosky. I have no idea who he is, but my friend, Josh, lent it to me. I finished reading it in 2 nights and 2 lunch breaks over McDonald's and Taco Bell. Just sitting in my car.

I would describe it myself but I'm not a very good writer, and I'm sure someone else has done it better already.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an epistolary novel written by American novelist Stephen Chbosky. It was published on February 1, 1999 by MTV. The story is narrated by a teenager who goes by the alias of "Charlie"; he describes various scenes in his life by writing a series of letters to an anonymous person, whom he does not know personally.

Wow, that sounded really dry. Maybe I was wrong about someone else having done it better already. I would describe Charlie as this really sweet, introverted boy. But not in a goody-goody way. Just really honest. In a way that society probably teaches you not to be. He reminds me a lot of Javi, how he would always wish people the best in a really sincere, yet weird way, not out loud, but in his heart. And even all the books Charlie's teacher had him read were books Javi's tried to get me to read such as The Fountainhead and Catcher in the Rye. There's also Dead Poet's Society. This book is an easy-reading version of Catcher in the Rye, I think. I actually didn't like Catcher in the Rye because of the way the character ran on with his sentences. It made me dizzy. But the run-on sentences and thoughts in this book make me smile. Because I think a lot of the same things.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book...

I want Sam to stop liking Craig. Now, I guess maybe you think that's because I am jealous of him. I'm not. Honest. It's just that Craig doesn't really listen to her when she talks. I don't mean that he's a bad guy because he's not. It's just that he always looks distracted. It's like he would take a photograph of Sam, and the photograph would be beautiful. And he would think that the reason the photograph is beautiful was because of how he took it. If I took it, I would know that the only reason it's beautiful is because of Sam. I just think it's bad when a boy looks at a girl and thinks that the way he sees the girl is better than the girl actually is. And I think it's bad when the most honest way a boy can look at a girl is through a camera. It's very hard for me to see Sam feel better about herself just because an older boy sees her that way.

...I like to think my brother is having a college experience like they do in the movies. I don't mean the big fraternity party kind of move. More like the movie where the guy meets a smart girl who wears a lot of sweaters and drinks cocoa. They talk about books and issues and kiss in the rain. I think something like that would be very good for him, especially if the girl were unconventionally beautiful. They are the best kind of girls, I think. I personally find "super models" strange. I don't know why this is.

I always wanted to be on a sports team like that. I'm not exactly sure why, but I always thought it would be fun to have "glory days." Then, I would have stories to tell my children and golf buddies. I guess I could tell people about Punk ROcky and walking home from school and things like that. Maybe these are my glory days, and I'm not even realizing it because they don't involve a ball.

My dad had glory days once. I've seen pictures of him when he was young. He was a very handsome man. I don't know any other way to put it. He looked like all old pictures look. Old pictures look very rugged and young, and the people in the photographs always seem a lot happier than you are.

... I think about all this sometimes when I'm watching a football game with Patrick and Sam. I look at the field, and I think about the boy who just made the touchdown. I think that these are the glory days for that boy, and this moment will just be another story someday because all the people who made touchdowns and home runs will become somebody's dad. And when his children look at his yearbook photograph, they will think that their dad was rugged and handsome and looked a lot happier than they are. I just hope I remember to tell my kids that they are as happy as I look in my old photographs. And I hope that they believe me.'s like when we were little, and we would go to the grocery store. My sister and brother would fight about things that my sister and brother would fight about, and I would sit at the bottom of the shopping cart. And my mom would be so upset by the end of the shopping that she would push the cart fast, and I would feel like I was in a submarine.

Do you enjoy holidays with your family? I don't mean your mom and dad family, but your uncle and aunt and cousin family? Personally, I do.

Patrick loved the tape! I think he knows that I'm his Secret Santa, though, because I think he knows that only I would do a tape like that. He also knows what my handwriting looks like. I don't know why I don't think of these things until it's too late. I really should have saved it for my last present.

The gift from my Secret Santa wasn't anything special. That makes me sad. I bet you anything that Mary Elizabeth is my Secret Santa because only she would give me socks.

I walked over the hill to where we used to go and sled. There were a lot of little kids there. I watched them flying. Doing jumps and having races. And I thought that all those kids are going to grow up someday. And all those little kids are going to do the same things that we do. And they will all kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn't.

And I felt weird. Really weird, because as I was walking around all the stores, I didn't know what present my dad would like to receive from me. I knew what to buy or give Sam and Patrick, but I didn't know what I could buy or give or make for my own dad. My brother likes posters of girls and beer cans. My sister likes a haircut gift certificate. My mom likes old movies and plants. My dad only likes golf, and that is not a winter sport except for in Florida, and we don't live there. And he doesn't play baseball anymore. He doesn't even like to be reminded unless he tells the stories. I just anted to know what to buy my dad because I love him. And I don't know him. And he doesn't like to talk about things like that.

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.

I don't know whether I should've done that. I practically transposed the whole book here. I hope this isn't illegal.

No comments:

Post a Comment