One critic compared 'Perks' to 'A Seperate Peace', and they couldn't be more right. There are several books that follow this sense of adolescent tragedy and emotion, and frankly, I believe 'Perks' lives up to the extremely high standard by which classics like 'A Seperate Peace' set. The realistic quirkiness of Chbosky's characters is amazing, and it really reminded me of a real life story. That is, in my opinion, something hard pressed to do. Too many people are afraid to read realism, and thus too many authors are afraid to write it. But Chbosky does not make any exceptions here. He writes with a passionate character and he makes that character as real as any human being could ever be.
Written as a bunch of letters to an unknown "friend", whom he has never actually met either, this is a very quick read. Even though it's is written in letter, the story still draws you in.
And the ending was quite a shock to me. I really didn't see it coming. All in all a very engrossing novel.
This book is a series of letters written to an unknown friend by Charlie - a quiet young man who lives mostly in his head. These letters span about a year from the start of his freshman year in high school, as Charlie starts to learn how to "participate" in life instead of watching. He makes friends with some seniors who take him under their wing and seem to be understanding about his innocence. Charlie is a very unusual character - quiet, observant and thinks a lot about what he sees, seemingly highly sensitive and prone to crying, and unsure about how to interact with people comfortably. He seems very intelligent and yet strange. I had a feeling like.. something is up here, something I don't know, so I had to keep reading not only to find out about his high school experiences (which were hilarious, sad, crazy, unexpected and wonderful all wrapped up in one), but also to figure him out. I really had a good time reading this book - Charlie feels like a sweet kid everyone knows and is fond of, and I just zipped through this, but I want to go back and revisit.
This was a great book. I stayed up all night to read it. I know it's cliche but I really did laugh out loud in some parts & then cried in others. It completely exceeded my expectations and the tone reminded me a bit of "Catcher in the Rye." Definately a recommendation!
I just finished reading "The Perks of Being A Wallflower" and I want to turn back to page one and read it again.
"The Perks of Being A Wallflower" is the coming of age story of Charlie, aged 15, told through letters he is writing to an anonymous friend. Charlie is a wallflower who observes people and feels very deeply for the experiences occuring around him. At the request of his English teacher, he is trying to participate more in his own life. Charlie is sometimes very overwhelmed by his depression and the other emotions that he feels.
Charlie speaks very honestly about what he observes, feels, and experiences. He becomes friends with two seniors (Patrick and Sam) and begins to experience dances, parties, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. He talks about his favorite Aunt Helen who died when he was seven and his best friend who committed suicide a year before he began writing the letters.
As the story unfolded, I thought, "This is a terrific story." and "This kid is really, really insightful." The full impact of the novel kicked me in the stomach in the final ten pages as all the threads came together. This book is a keeper!