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Charlie is a freshman.
And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
The book be like – CRY, BITCH.
After 50 pages I would have written that The Perks of Being a Wallflower was poorly written, boring and tasteless.
After 100 pages I would have clapped because really, wow, Stephen Chbosky really did want to tick all the strong issues boxes, haha. /sarcasm.
After 150 pages I would have needed a drink to handle all that fucking CRYING and talking and the total LACK of any attempt to actually DEAL with the issues piling up. No, three pages of so-called teenage philosophy isn’t enough.
In the end I’m just pissed off by the plain MANIPULATION that is this book and by the way the last issue is taken care of – FUCK YOU, BOOK. No, really. Fuck you. I am very sorry for all the people on Earth who loved this book, and know that this review isn’t about you. I started The Perks of Being a Wallflower expecting to love it.
As it is, I cannot.
Probably because it contains what I hate the most in Literature, this being :
– The blatant use of manufactured drama trying to force me to feel things. It doesn’t work like that. You do NOT involve a reader by creating an unrealistic overkill of serious issues, as if they were trying to outbid each other. There’s a moment when I just don’t care anymore. This is manipulative and disrespectful.
It reads like a catalogue of the worst situations possible.
– The fact that the sub-mentioned issues aren’t given the time of a day and are just there. Nope. And because I know that people will tell me that it’s realistic because Charlie is only 15, and that he can’t analyze these issues in depth : yes, he cannot. THAT IS THE POINT. Why include so many issues – teen pregnancy, drinking, drugs, sexual identity, abuse, and so on – if they’re only there to fill the book? WHY? I am the first to admit that we mustn’t take teenagers for fools and that YA novels should picture these issues. But COME. ON. What is even the point if they’re only brushed off? Is telling them that it happens to other people is going to make them feel better? Is telling them that we can ignore problems because everything is going to get better anyway (because fairies, I guess) A GOOD THING? I don’t think so. And yes, when something like abuse is dealt in TWO pages, I do get the feeling that the book is telling me to move the fuck on.
* I am not thick, of course I understand what this sentence is trying to say… But again, empty words. I would have probably loved it as a 14 years old. Now I’m just like, AND THEN WHAT?
– Repetitive and choppy sentences all the way through, with a main character who can’t decide if he’s 10 or 40 or, I don’t know, 5. I HATED the writing, I really did.
– Characters who don’t feel like teenagers at all – mainly Sam and Patrick, the super hipsters philosophers *snorts*
The book be like – NOW SMILE, BITCH.
► I wish I would have read another Gary D. Schmidt novel instead. Overrated.