Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a WallflowerTitle: The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Series: Standalone
Pages: 213
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date of Publication: 30th August 2012 (reprint)
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

My Thoughts:
So many people have been telling me to read Perks for about a year now, and with the movie coming up soon, I thought it was finally time. I mean, it looked quite good, and you have to read the book before the film, right?! Anyway, I decided I would read it on holiday when I had nothing else to do so I could read it all at once, and as it's really not very long this was pretty easy. While it didn't quite live up to my (probably too high) expectations, it was a really good read, and I'd definitely recommend it!

The characters were very believable and easy to relate to. I found Charlie was quite a lot like me- not a loser exactly, but definitely not one of the popular ones. He had his group of friends with Patrick and Sam, and while I found it a little strange that he didn't really have any friends his own age, I actually really did enjoy his story.

The book is written in the form of many letters, written by Charlie, sent to no one in particular, a complete stranger. It was an interesting idea, and I found that it was easier for me to imagine writing to a complete stranger about everything that happened in my life, including the good, the bad and the awkward, than it would be to write to someone I knew and had to see on a regular basis. I felt that this way we learnt a lot about him and the way that he thinks, and it was pretty awesome.

There was nothing particularly amazing plot-wise - it was just a story of a normal kid going through the normal process of growing up, and determining who he wants to be. I loved that it was so realistic! I've been reading a lot of paranormal and dystopian lately so it was refreshing to read something that I could easily believe could actually happen to me, or one of my friends at school. My only complaint was that it was kind of forgettable... There was nothing that had the wow-factor, for me, and if I had to describe the plot to someone, I'd have difficulty past just saying it's a coming of age novel... It most definitely wasn't boring or anything though!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a really good read that while not being particularly life-changing as I'd been promised it would be, it was extremely enjoyable. I'd recommend if you're a fan of YA contemporary, or if you're looking for something light and believable to read in an evening or over a weekend. I'll end this by saying that I'm super excited for the movie, and if you're planning on seeing it, make sure to have read the book first! ;)

*Thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

7 comments:

  1. i love, LOVE the fact that it's not some super-amazing plot about a kid who changes the world or something. it's real and cringey and awkward, but in the best sense possible. awesome review, Bella ;)

    also, OMG SO EXCITED FOR THE FILM AHHHH. but I won't be able to watch it :((((((((

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  2. I want to read this now. No one told me it was written in letter format!!

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  3. I didn't really like this book. I felt like there was just too many issues that were brought up for me to find it believeable. Which is a shame as so many people positively rave about it..

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  4. Hi, I'm Stephen Chbosky's assistant, Meera. He really appreciates and is truly honored to have you read and discuss his book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The movie version of Perks, which Stephen also wrote, is being released nationwide in the US today, October 12th! To find showtimes/theaters near you, visit http://www.facebook.com/WallflowerMovie/app_161683100556760

    Thank you so much for all the support, it really means a lot to Steve. We hope you love the movie as much as we do!

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  5. Haha- I thought the synopsis of this novel made it sounds like a boring- nothing special kind of book. So I put off reading it for a long time. But once I read it I was blown away. Seriously a wonderful novel.

    But I agree about it not being anything terribly special. It's hard to explain. I know I loved it and that Charlie broke my heart.

    Thanks for the review,

    Sara @ Just Another Story

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  6. A funny, heartfelt if admittedly formulaic feature that boasts first rate performances and a genuine affection for its characters.
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  7. The book really touched my heart, and I think it would do the same with every heart of a teenager or young (and not-so-young) adult, struggling with life, with decisions. I think it's the perfect book for every little girl or guy trying to find out who they really are. And for those who probably will never find it out, too.
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*I am no longer accepting blog awards :( I do not have time to go through all the things that come with it, and though I'm honoured you thought of me, I'm sure you can find someone who will love it, and be able to carry out the rules :)

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