Thursday 27 February 2014

Book Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower; Stephen Chbosky

I am feeling so smug that I managed to finish this book before the end of February, and can get the review up for you guys this soon! I'm using this one as an entry for a couple of challenges. Firstly, the 'Jumble Your Genres' challenge asked for participants to read a book from the Contemporary genre, and this one fits perfectly into that category. Secondly, it was 232 pages in all and that means it can be entered into the 'Quick Fix Challenge' as a short story. Buttons for those, as usual, at the bottom of this post!

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
AUTHOR: Stephen Chbosky
PUBLISHER: Pocket Books
PAGES: 232
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

RATING: 4/5 Stars

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 mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all he requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie 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.

What I Liked:
  • There are a lot of uncomfortable and often rarely talked about issues covered in this book. Mental health, sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexuality. Chbosky deals with all of these in a very sensitive way that touches the heart.
  • The story-line itself, the build-up towards the end, is great. Often times, a book can lose itself. This book has so many sub-plots because it is being told from the perspective of a boy that likes to watch rather than take part. Yet Chbosky doesn't lose any in the process, he manages to keep each thread of the story going and ties them off wonderfully at the end. Once the plot-line got going, it really took off and I couldn't put the book down.
  • The characters were fantastic! I loved Charlie, Patrick, Sam, even Mary-Elizabeth despite her irritating behaviour. They were all unique, memorable and so fun to read. Patrick especially, his humour is great! The portrayal of Charlie's family too was very well done. Often, parents are written as unlikeable, naggy, strict or embarrassing. I thought that Charlie's parents, despite having very obvious flaws, were still written in such a way that you couldn't help but like them. They felt like actual human beings rather than just side characters.
What I Disliked:
  • The pace at the beginning. I was so excited for this book, but I found the first part so hard to get into. It was slow, and took a while to find it's pace. I struggled with it at first. This is to do with the sub-plotting involved. Every time Charlie would start us on one plot-line, he would move onto another, then another. I felt like I was reading lots of different beginnings which didn't seem to be going anywhere. This effect, I might add, was short-lived but still something that I didn't like about it.
Overall Conclusion:
Yes, I did have problems with this book. At first I thought I wasn't going to enjoy it and would have to rate it low. But as time went on, I grew to like it more and more. The story-line was captivating, and the characters so well written. I really did enjoy it and I would definitely recommend it, there are so many good points to it!

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