The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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Author: Stephen Chbosky

Page Count: 256

Genre: Coming-Of-Age

Book Synopsis: Socially awkward teen Charlie is a wallflower, always watching life from the sidelines, until two charismatic students become his mentors. Free-spirited Sam and her stepbrother Patrick help Charlie discover the joys of friendship, first love, music and more, while a teacher sparks Charlie’s dreams of becoming a writer. However, as his new friends prepare to leave for college, Charlie’s inner sadness threatens to shatter his newfound confidence.

Movie Adaptation: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

 
 
 You don’t want to miss this one!
An upbeat epistolary, with the writing perfectly synchronized with the introvert  (or more appropriately: emotionally handicapped) protagonist, not finding it relatable is not even a question since we all have been through/are going through the gawky adolescence.
And if you abstain from shedding spotlight on yourself and are comfortable being the observer, you would perfectly understand the “Wallflower”
You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.
Here’s a sneak:

There is a feeling that I had Friday night after the homecoming game that I don’t know if I will ever be able to describe except to say that it is warm. Sam and Patrick drove me to the party that night, and I sat in the middle of Sam’s pickup truck. Sam loves her pickup truck because I think it reminds her of her dad. The feeling I had happened when Sam told Patrick to find a station on the radio. And he kept getting commercials. And commercials. And a really bad song about love that had the word “baby” in it. And then more commercials. And finally he found this really amazing song about this boy, and we all got quiet.

Sam tapped her hand on the steering wheel. Patrick held his hand outside the car and made air waves. And I just sat between them. After the song finished, I said something.

“I feel infinite.”

Chbosky covers the A-Z of being a teenager- First dates, family, drama, new friends, sex, sexual exploration, drugs, loss, young love, suicide, sexual abuse, rape, and you name it!
It’s devastatingly real but somehow I feel Chbosky bit more that he could chew. The depths of each aspect haven’t really been described or hinted upon, save for the child-like outlook of the teenage protagonist.  The novel is incredibly over-rated, yes! It didn’t really inspire or inculcate something in me as I expected it to (Probably because I had high hopes when I picked this book up!).

 

Anyways, I think everyone should read this book, not because everyone else is reading it or has read it; but because it’s a nostalgic experience. And don’t we all like to live more than many lives (Even though it spans only 256 pages)?

You’ll love this one if you like Catcher In the Rye!

 

Reviews:

Critics: 4.2/5

I’d rate it:  3.9/5

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 Shock of the Fall

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Author: Nathan Filer

Page Count: 307

Genre: (Fiction) Mental Health, Tragi-Comedy.

Book Synopis: I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.

If you thought it’s impossible to make a funny book about mental illness, I’d shove this book at you! Filer has managed to write this dark comedy about an illness, a disease with the shape and sound of a snake: Schizophrenia.

It is a compelling narrative of a lad shadowed by a mental illness and the lingering grief and guilt over his brother’s death.

Although the main event of the story is signposted at the very start, the suspense lingers. Flier succeeds to give some and hold some back!

The writing is incredibly inconsistent and dynamic which makes it beautiful! The central character actually physically writes this book so it’s like an episodic diary, with tremendous amounts of gaps. His life continues to move forwards as he writes about it. He gets distracted sometimes, dawdles off topic, finds his words back, rewinds, gives real-time updates, flashbacks and rewinds again.  Since Matt is physically writing it, it is not ordered, it has flaws, it has sloppy handwriting and sloppy thoughts and typewriter pages with their smudged ink, and tiny sketches and doodles.

Here’s how it starts:

the girl and her doll

I should say that I am not a nice person. Sometimes I try to be, but often I’m not. So when it was my turn to cover my eyes and count to a hundred- I cheated.

Through this bittersweet novel whose lead, although unreliable, captivates you even though his world is falling apart, Flier give an insight to the illness through this book, and helps the reader if not understand, but feel what the illness is like partially at least!

It is painful,

it is poignant,

it is haunting,

it is funny,

it is tragic

and I could just go on!

 

And it is definitely worth a read!

the shock of the fall and the blood on my knee

 

Ratings:

Critics: 4/5

I’d rate it: 4/5

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl


Author: Jesse Andrews.
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Coming of age.

 Book Synopsis: High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Page Count: 295.

Movie Adaptation: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015).


Step aside clichés where suffering from a chronic disease magically expands the scope of your love life.

Looking for something uncannily weird? Well, this one boasts of it, and well, yes it is the worldy weird! (Obviously the title itself is suggestive of its weirdness).

I personally didn’t like this book as much as I expected it to, but it is worth a shot because of it’s writing, which is not really “writing”, but just scrambled thoughts re-arranged legibly(Read: Jesse Andrews is a screen-writer).

Randomness was never better! You might relate with the protagonist or you might find Earl bemusing. I discovered the latter.

Here’s how it all begins:

So in order to understand everything that happened, you have to start from the premise that high school sucks. Do you accept that premise? Of course you do. It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. In fact, high school is where we are first introduced to the basic existential question of life: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad?

The novel is surpringly bone-tickling! Andrews has successfully managed to incorporate humor into a plot so heart-breaking!
My advice for a whacky novel like this? Be a weirdo,give it a shot (you might learn a weird thing or two,or not!), and then you can tell your weird folks about how you read a weird book about being weird.
It’s a perfect read for high school and college kids!

Go for it if you’re looking for a simple, casual read. Watch the movie for a synergistic effect.

x x Fin x x

Ratings:

Critics: 3/5

I’d rate it: 3/5