Attention, Attention: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Well, hello there. You know, there are a ton of great reasons why having a blog partner is awesome. There is always someone to geek out with. When you get a little tired or busy, they are around to catch you up and keep things running. As far as book blogging goes: you can read twice the amount of books (which is great for us and also great for our readers). But as our first year in this community comes to a close, Magan and I are finding ourselves going back and re-reading some old favorites or taking time to check out the titles the other has raved over.

And that’s where this feature comes in.

Basically, when it strikes our fancy, we will be popping up with a mini refresher of a book we have reviewed in the past, and bring it to your attention again with a quick review!

So now that we got that out of the way… up first for this feature:

the perks of being a wallflower.

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbowsky

I’m ‘stellemarie‘ on Instagram!

Now Magan first reviewed Perks in November of 2011 saying she “adapted quickly to Charlie’s scattered storytelling ways” and singing the praises of the supporting characters — “their nurturing of Charlie is what made me love them most.” Eleven months later, Perks has hit the theaters with promising reviews and I decided to give it a re-read before I see it on the big screen.

I first read Perks back in high school, and picked it up last in 2009. It’s one of those great stories, like Harry Potter almost, where I love the story but I forget so many of the little details that made it great. This time around, I read it in nearly a day and found myself picking and choosing a ton of quotable moments to easily have at my disposal.

Charlie is just an observer, trying to figure out his freshman year of high school, making new friends, getting great extracurricular attention from a cool English teacher, and dealing with drama at home. He is one of those rare characters who can be so full of wisdom sometimes, but on the other hand, completely naive to others.

After watching a ton of the trailers from the movie, I was most struck with how dark and serious Perks is. The trailer made the story seem a bit more upbeat, and when I finished, I grew worried that the movie wouldn’t pack the same punch. While still hopeful and fun at points, there are so many layers to Charlie’s story that I’m still not entirely sure how that would translate on screen. (It is good to know that author Stephen Chbosky did write the screenplay… although he also wrote the screenplay for the movie Rent, based on the musical, and I wasn’t too big of a fan of that.)

It’s amazing — it’s been 13 years since Perks has been published and it’s still so widely read and most importantly, widely relatable. Even after all the time that has passed since I read it the first time, I’m still enchanted and bewildered by Charlie and want just as badly to be as his friend as I did when I met him initially.

favorite quotes:

“I am very interested and fascinated how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.”

“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”

“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.”

Goodreads | Amazon | Small Girl PR’s Perks Spotify Playlist

Estelle: Shelve It (9/2/2012)

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

Holy moly… how is it September already?

From the library:

The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams

From sweet people:

Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter (Thanks Tara!)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Thanks SmallGirls PR!)
— and their Spotify Perks playlist!

Bought for my Nook:

Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl
Send by Patty Blount (Reviews from Fiction Folio & blog tour stop at Sash & Em’s)

On the blog:

CAMP by Elaine Wolf — bullies, camp, difficult mothers OH MY.
One body, two souls — What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Susan Wigg’s Return to Willow Lake packs reality shows, politics, romance, and family challenges in 1 novel!

travel tails feature with rather be reading, alexa loves books, and novel sounds

The gals of My Sister’s Bookshelf share their literary travel tales.
Kelly from Radiant Shadows has a thing for Greek mythology and daydreams about future travel plans.
I talk about my love for the 1960s & yap about decade books.
Alexa pairs travel companions + books!
Elena has scouted out some beautiful libraries!

Happy Sunday!! 

Magan: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Length of Book: 213 pages
Type of Book: YA / Coming of Age Story
Format: Library Book
Release Date: February 1, 1999
I read this book because:  Emma Watson is one of my favorite young female actresses. I found out she would be playing the role of Sam and wanted to prep for the movie by reading the book before it’s 2012 debut (release date still undetermined).
Synopsis: Charlie is a lonely high school freshman who begins high school shortly after the loss of one of his closest friends. He writes letters to an anonymous person about the ups and downs of his life.

 

I picked up The Perks of Being a Wallflower from the library and immediately began reading during my lunch break. I was drawn to Charlie’s character, who is so young and spastic, because he reminded me of exactly what it felt like to be a freshman in high school. While I usually prefer books with strong female characters, I adapted quickly to Charlie’s scattered storytelling ways.  The format of the story is a series of letters written to an anonymous person that he has never met; the letters were hands-down one of my favorite aspects of the book. Chbosky brilliantly thought out his character development of Charlie; when we’re first introduced to him, he is choppy, disorganized, and young.  Throughout the story, Charlie’s writing improves and the improvement in his storytelling abilities made me latch onto him even more.  His honesty, purity, and simplicity completely drew me in – I felt like Charlie was such a relatable character.  I couldn’t help but feel like I would try to befriend this guy if I were in high school with him.

He struggles with getting a grip on reality and being a loner. As a reader, you are aware that something has gone down in his past that he’s not divulging.  I wanted to be the anonymous friend that wrote letters back to Charlie. I wanted to be able to tell him everything was going to be okay.  Thankfully, Charlie finds a solid group of kids to connect with. They appreciate him for his quirkiness. As Charlie says in the book, he quits being a thinker and becomes a participant. Of all the friends Charlie makes, I felt most connected to Patrick and Sam. They weren’t perfect people and were also experiencing some pretty crappy things, but their nurturing of Charlie is what made me love them most.

Not every aspect of this book was easy to read. I strongly disliked Mary Elizabeth’s character when Charlie began going on a few dates with her. Maybe it was that Charlie so easily went along with everything, even though he was unhappy, that made me dislike her the most. While Mary Elizabeth was an annoying character, I shuddered when I read the few paragraphs about what really happened to Charlie. My eyes kept skimming the paragraphs, hoping that I was wrong about what I thought I was reading.  Be prepared to encounter a few difficult topics throughout the course of this book.

Ultimately, this book is a four star kind of book for me. I’m thrilled I read it, loved the coming of age story about this high schooler in the early 90s, and will eagerly see the movie. However, I’m not sure it’s a book that I’d pick it up to read over and over again.  I will definitely be seeing the movie though. I’m hoping that Emma Watson blows me away in her role as Sam. Though she’s played a very innocent, kind role as Hermione, I think she’s going to take a giant leap forward as Sam. This character is so multi-dimensional and I think she’s going to be able to fulfill all my expectations and depict the character I had in my head very well.  I’ll make sure to update you guys once I’ve seen the movie…

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