[Blogjacking] – “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

Today is Wednesday, and regular readers of Plutonium Muffins (PM) and Tami’s Amis will know that usually I would do a WIP Wednesday – instead, I am going to review “The Perks of Being a Wallflower“. I actually have a fair number of WIPs, but I’m ill with what can only be described as Fresher’s Flu*, and am struggling with the thought of getting out of bed to do anything other than stumble to the loo, and this hinders retrieving the knitting from downstairs and photographing it nicely. Sorry!

This chick looks way more glamorous than I do at the moment, but this is pretty much how I feel.
This chick looks way more glamorous than I do at the moment, but this is pretty much how I feel.

I’ve been reading a number of books recently. As a child, I was an avid reader, and burned my way through everything and anything I could get my hands on, eventually ending up with special permission from school to go through the “Restricted Section” at the library so that I could fill my head with fewer tales about animals in hospitals, orphans in adoption centres etc. I mean, don’t get me wrong, these were enjoyable enough – but I felt that my literacy wasn’t being increased fast enough.

A few years ago I took out an Audible subscription, and have been listening to audio-books while knitting. This is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons – I read a lot faster in my head than anyone can read out loud. I sometimes fall asleep and miss large sections of a book, resulting in an unfortunate confusion and back-tracking procedure. I’m limited to one book per month, and I can barely afford that.

So, I’m back to physical books. I am good enough to be able to knit without looking now, and I feel that this is a big advantage.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I’m sure that a lot of people will have read this book as a result of the film coming out. I hadn’t even heard of it before I saw a poster for the film, and I was only interested because I saw a picture of Emma Watson on the poster. Then my cousin wrote a status on Facebook:

To all those people who are like ‘Ahhh Perks of Being A Wallflower was so good!’ How many of you have actually read the book … ?

I felt obliged to do so. I bought the book on iBooks, and before I knew it was totally sucked into the story. I read it in just under four hours. It was absolutely brilliant.

The poster that drew my attention.
The poster that drew my attention.

I’m not going to give any spoilers, because I hate that. It is written from the perspective of Charlie, a fifteen/sixteen year old, and he writes in the first person, addressing each chapter as “Dear Friend”. The book starts off with him fairly unpopular, and follows him as a gradually makes some friends, experiences love, and experiments with some of the things that teenagers can get exposed to. The ending of the story is a bit shocking, doesn’t tie-up nicely, and ends with a final letter explaining why this is.

I love this book for several reasons. I love books that are first-person, as when I write, this is how I tend to do it, and I was always told do not write books in first person. The success of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” excites me as a result of this. Throughout the story, there is a dark undercurrent where Charlie discusses medication and counsellors, and the symptoms that require him to experience these things. You only find out what the cause is at the very end. As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, and has battled with going to see head-doctors and taking various medications, the book resonated with me, particularly this quote.

This really resonated with me.
This really resonated with me.

I love that the ending is kind of incomplete. Too often, I read a book which ends with a really pleasant and cheerful ending where everyone lives happily ever after and you know that a sequel would be really boring. This is not real life and I appreciate that. (It would be nice to know if Charlie ever discovers the trick to sorting out some of the anxiety and other mental health issues he has, but perhaps that is a selfish desire!)

I would recommend this book to everyone. It’s fairly short and an absorbing read. JS couldn’t understand why I was being so quiet! It does contain a fair amount of swearing, and alcohol/drug-use/mentions of sexual activity, so I would read it before you give it to your child if you want to make sure first.

The original cover, which I don't get even after I read the book.
The original cover, which I don’t get even after I read the book.

I’m now reading “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess, at the moment. It is hilarious, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It’s another one to do with anxiety and depression, and a memoir. I may do a review of that as well! Watch this space.

Finally, only four days for the Romney Marsh Wools Hand & Body Lotion giveaway entries! Click here to read about it and enter.

Much love,

Corrie xx

* JS has been looking after me with lunch in bed and plenty of Vitamin C and fluids. He is working from home today, which is handy. This is what I get for returning to university orchestras. Hmph.

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