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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky There are a number of books, that no matter how long it’s been since I first read them, I keep coming back to. I read Perks of Being a Wallflower way back when it first came out (when I was a young and impressionable thirteen year old), and even now it’s still one of my all-time favorites. And now with the movie coming up, I was shocked that I did not own a copy.Charlie is the greatest strength in this. He’s such a lonely figure in the whole book, despite having a number of friends and acquaintances, and as much as he tries to participate, he just can’t. There’s a lot of fear in his letters, and that’s something that I can still relate to. The poor boy’s fragile, and just dealing with the whole new world of high school makes him snap, not to mention his past with his Aunt Helen. But there’s still moments of happiness, which again, is why he makes the book so memorable. The post-homecoming drive is one of my favorite scenes (for several reasons), and the line of “I feel infinite.” It’s stuck with me for a while. Also, I have to note the writing—honestly, it’s a little wooden, but coming from someone like Charlie (who really has no writing experience), it’s pretty realistic. Case in point: the masturbation letter and whenever he goes off about celebrity interviews. They feel like really random interludes that go nowhere, but work well within the context of Charlie’s characterization.On this rereading, I will have to say I had some issues with all of the side characters. Let’s face it, a lot of the plot is “Suburban white kids with problems and they need hugs.” I’m not belittling the message of the book, it’s just that I noticed this part more. Part of the reason that I like Charlie as our narrator and main character is that he’s not as jaded as Sam or Patrick or Mary Elizabeth, and he still sees all of these characters with their faults. Most of the time—Sam takes a while to break down her façade. Patrick’s probably my second-favorite character in the book; out of all of the other characters, he feels the most genuine. Sam does have shades of a Maniac Pixie Dream Girl, but I like her in that she’s honest with Charlie. If any one of the main characters is weak, I’d have to say Mary Elizabeth. I know we’re seeing her through Charlie’s eyes, but she exemplified the whole “White kids with problems” issue I had.And okay, I’ll be honest—the other reason I love this book to tiny bits and pieces is that it takes place in my hometown. There’s very few specific clues that it takes place in Pittsburgh, but it made some of the scenes really come to life (see the aforementioned “I feel infinite.” Also, random tangent, I spent a good part of my childhood movie-going at the theater where they all go to “Rocky Horror.” The movie filmed there too; it gives me a happy. Okay, I’m done). I don’t know, knowing exactly whet Charlie’s describing (given that he doesn’t really describe much about the locale) made the book more vivid for me.In conclusion; YOU GUYS, THIS BOOK. I really can’t go on enough about why I love it so much, or why it had such an effect on me. I might not have gone through the same things that characters went through, but I could relate to lot of the loneliness and awkwardness that Charlie and the others experience. Read it now, before the movie comes out. (Actually, ideally, you should have read it already, but if you haven’t, go and get a copy.)