Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

There are two main things about this book that stuck out.
Yeah, this is not exactly a review, but I think it's more important just to give your impression of the book than to "review" it.

1. It takes place in Pittsburgh! That's where I live. If Charlie were a real person, he'd live about 25 minutes away from me if the traffic is not too bad. He mentiond the Fort Pitt Tunnel several times in his letters. When you come into Pittsburgh from the west, you come through that tunnel and BOOM. You are in the city. You see this when you come out of the tunnel:

The picture doesn't do it justice, but when I'm away from home for a while, seeing that is so cool! Not many movies and books take place in Pittsburgh. Most authors want either a big city or a small town, not something in between. I can drive 20 minutes in one direction and be in a really neat city, but drive 20 minutes in another direction and see cows roaming around! If I ever write novels, all of them will take place in my city because nobody gives it the credit it deserves!

2. Wallflower is so honest. It doesn't really have much of a "plot" since it is a coming of age story. It's real. Real life doesn't focus around one main event like books do. Even though we know Charlie is special, he's normal because nothing crazy happens to him. He is shaped by his everyday experiences.

Bookish people should read this because Charlie's English teacher is important to Charlie's development. Bill gives Charlie books like The Catcher in the Rye and The Fountainhead to read. I always think books about books are a cool concept!

I didn't like how sexual the book was though. The story would have been fine without most of it. Some aspects like that gave me a love-hate relationship with The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I'm not sure if I'd give it a B or a C rating.


Ruth King said...

I came away from this one feeling like Charlie was a friend -- his voice was that authentic.

I loved his English teacher. Every bookish kid should be so lucky to have someone like that.

Unknown said...

I love that book!
Thanks for posting a picture of what Charlie would see coming out of that tunnel, I hadn't come across something like this before :) I agree with you though, authors do tend to have settings on larger cities, it's nice when they write about smaller ones, it's not like new york and all those other ones are the only cities out there. :D