Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Chbosky, Stephen. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. New York: Gallery Books, 1999. Print.

My Thoughts
I'm not sure yet what I think of this book. I read it Thanksgiving Day and am still processing. I think I'm conflicting in what I expected from the book and what I got. The story itself is OK, and I know it is going to release soon as a movie. I kept wondering "how?" --"How will they show this?" and "How will they keep the chronology of the story line?" and "How will the movie be rated?"

The inside cover doesn't tell much about the story, but does offer some quotes from various reviews. The first review likens this book to The Catcher in the Rye. This may be why I am still processing this book. I'm still processing Catcher from 25 years ago! As I was reading Perks, I often thought of Catcher, so it wasn't a surprise to read the comparison.

Charlie writes a series of letters or diary entries to an unnamed "friend" that tells the story of himself. At first, I wasn't sure if Charlie was a girl or boy. It took a few pages to picture the character. I also was confused as to who the "friend" is--I'm still not sure I know.

One thing I really did love about the book was the many references to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As my sister worked at the cinema, I was allowed to see this movie (and even played parts) many times. Reading about the book characters doing the same was enjoyable. However, I wondered if my teen readers would understand what was happening. Have they ever experienced this movie (because it is an experience!)? Does any theater still show and perform Rocky? Ahh...something to research.

The title reference is on page 37.

I will probably go see the movie, just to have the movie experience. However, I'm not sure that I will recommend this book to anyone.

BLOG UPDATE 2/26/13: I watched the movie this weekend and enjoyed it. It made me rethink the book. Perhaps I will reread the book to give it another chance. I don't know exactly why I didn't like the book--maybe what I expected was not what I got, but the movie did do a good job of showing the characters and wasn't too graphic (like the book).

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