Welcome, once again, to Page Turners an online book club that has been put together by two amazing bloggers, Shelly from DIY Mama and Lisa from ExpandNG with June’s PageTurners book selection of The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky!
Here is a brief synopsis of The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky!
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.
Now for Shelly’s questions:
1. Describe the book in one word.
I have to really agree with Shelly on this one…for me it was confusing! But I have to also reflect on that time period, for myself, and say that it definitely was that. You see, I lived during that time, and connected with many of those teenage feelings. While I never had to deal with some of the issues, others were there somewhere in the mix.
Now I watch my children go through that confusion and while topics may differ with the generation, the confusion and unsettling feelings exist.
2. Do you agree with Charlie’s friends for completely shutting him out for what he did to Mary Elizabeth?
I see why they did it, but I definitely think that at least Sam and Patrick should have been there a little sooner.
3. Were you surprised when you found out why Charlie had such issues with his Aunt?
Yes, I kind of was…
And now now for Lisa’s questions:
1. I couldn’t help but compare this book to Wonder because the voices in both books are kids. How would you compare the two books?
I really liked Wonder by R.J. Palacio much better, because it offered the ability for a child’s innocence to leave them more open to acceptance. You can read about it here.
In Perks, it dealt with the more difficult struggles of teenage acceptance and the desire to belong in an undesirable world. Which definitely applies to the “Wallflower” crowd, which I was. This book was okay, but the letter reading made it a bit more difficult for me, but through many things I understood it.
2. Toward the end of the book, Charlie’s teacher, Bill, tells Charlie that he’s one of the most gifted people he’s ever known. Bill also tells Charlie that he’s special because he doesn’t think anyone has ever told Charlie that. That was so touching. Did you have a teacher that like?
I had a teacher, that I think was memorable, maybe not always in a good way. I had a High School Business teacher, who was a bit of a hard ass and very no nonsense. Now don’t get me wrong, he was good…and he knew his business, because he taught Accounting, Business Law & Marketing and other business type classes. He told us great stories about Sam Walton and Walt Disney, but he had a temper for stupidity. As there always are, especially in a high school setting, kids who push the envelope…and he would not suffer their antics for long. But if you paid attention and did the work, you could easily float through the class and get A’s with ease.
3. Sorry, I couldn’t come up with a third question. This book just wasn’t for me. But please, tell me your thoughts on the book!
Instead of following up the questions with my thought on the book, I will leave them here in answer to Lisa’s third question…
I can really only give this one 3 to maybe 3 1/2 stars, because I just wasn’t crazy about it. I don’t know if it was the letter writing or the jumbled thoughts of a teenager, I am just not sure. I have trouble understanding my own teenagers at times, let alone one that I do not have a personal and profound relationship with. I understood much of it, especially growing up during those years, and seeing much of that same confusion during my own teen years.
I am glad that I read the book, though I won’t likely read it again. I might however watch the movie at some point, just so I can get a better visualization of the characters…which might help with some of the confusion. I also felt as though there was no completion, and that always bugs me!
Be sure to stop back by towards the end of August for August’s PageTurners book selection “The Princess Bride by William Goldman“! I am so excited to read this book, as it has been one of my all time favorite movies since it came out!
Have you read The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky! What did you think? Let me know in the comments!