Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Get Lit Book Review: THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER


CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE


I've heard about The Perks of Being A Wallflower for quite a long time. In the fall of 2004, during my freshman year of college, my roommate said that it was one of her favorite books. This wasn't the first time I heard someone rave about the book. The title intrigued me and I knew that I would someday get around to reading it. When film producers announced that the movie for The Perks of Being A Wallflower would film in Pittsburgh this year, I wanted to get my hands on it before the movie was released in theaters. After doing a bit of research, I was reminded that the book is actually set in Pittsburgh as the author grew up in one of the suburbs. I was really excited to see what all the hype was about and maybe even recognize a few of the scenery locations in the book.

I ordered Perks from Amazon.com. When it arrived, I quickly began reading. It's not a long book and it's a rather quick read. I read a little before bed each night and finished in about 10 days. You could read this on a plane ride or in an afternoon if you wanted to. What I liked the most is the style in which Perks is written. I am the type of person who likes to read nonfiction. Even though Perks is fiction, I was able to picture the characters vividly in my imagination and let the scenes play out as if it truly happened. This was easy to do because I recognized the imagery that Stephen Chbosky painted in my head. There is one particular part in the book that I loved the most because it describes something that anyone who is from Pittsburgh or even visited, can relate to on pgs. 91-92:

There’s something about that tunnel that leads to downtown. It’s glorious at night. Just glorious. You start on one side of the mountain, and it’s dark, and the radio is loud. As you enter the tunnel, the wind gets sucked away, and you squint from the lights overhead. When you adjust to the lights, you can see the other side in the distance just as the sound of the radio fades because the waves just can’t reach. Then, you’re in the middle of the tunnel, and everything becomes a calm dream. As you see the opening get closer, you just can’t get there fast enough. And finally, just when you think you’ll never get there, you see the opening right in front of you. And the radio comes back even louder than you remember it. And the wind is waiting. And you fly out of the tunnel onto the bridge. And there it is. The city. A million lights and buildings and everything seems as exciting as the first time you saw it. It really is a grand entrance.


The Perks of Being A Wallflower does a good job at describing the coming of age tale of its loveable protagonist, Charlie and his eclectic group of friends. I enjoyed the references to music and literature. The one complaint I had about this book is that the characters are crying on virtually every other page. I am one of the most sensitive people you could meet but even I don't cry as often as the teenagers do in this book. I don't think I've ever met a 15-year-old boy who cries like Chbosky's Charlie does. The ending leaves something to be desired but it is still a great debut novel. It's worth the read for anyone in their teens, 20s or just young at heart. It's a sweet story and I look forward to the screen adaptation.




Now Playing: "Asleep" by The Smiths
(Often mentioned in the book)

1 comment:

Blog Archive

My photo
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm living life in beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I hold a journalism degree from West Virginia University. I have worked in television news, fashion marketing, PR, and cosmetic sales. My love for writing and sharing with the world my various passions is strong. One of my many ambitions is to be published and continue creating in the fields of digital and print media, literature and film. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going to concerts, reading, following Pittsburgh sports and traveling as often as possible. Some of my favorite things include beauty, style, architecture, books, tarot and astrology, thrifting and my shih-tzu, Ireland. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!