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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Paper Towns

Author: John Green

Page Count: 305

Genre: Coming Of Age

Book synopsis: Quentin Jacobson has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life-dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge-he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day break, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo,  always an enigma,  has now become mystery.  But Q soon learns that there are clues-and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew…

Movie Adaptation: Paper Towns

I personally found this book quite disappointing, which is unlike John Green. 

Its promising, you can feel it’s promising but this 300-something page read turns out to be pretty forced and disengaging. 

The story has no story. It doesn’t manage to mend my broken strings. I’ve tried reading it atleast thrice,  hoping I may find something but every time it came across as bland, and fruitless. 

Yes, Green being the brilliant wroter that he is does give paragraphs of spot-on descriptions,  and manages tp deliver a light-hearted, and funny read. He manages to crack you up yet give u insight using instances like this:

The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle.  Like I will never be struck by a lightening,  or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands,  or contract terminal ear cancer,  or spontaneously combust.  But if you consider all the unlikely things together,  at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs, I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the sibdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next to Margo Roth Spiegelman.

Well, its hilarious but lacking

I wish this one kept my wavering attention. I wish I could connect with it. But I can’t.

It’s an easy read, no doubt,  but if you’re like me, it gets boring and consequently becomes a tedious one.

All I can say is that between the book and the movie,  the movie’s hopeless. You may be better of reading the book. 

Well, this is just my opinion. Let me know what you think! 

Reviews:

Critics: 3.9/5

I’d rate it: 2.7/5

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

The Kite Runner

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  • Author: Khaled Hosseini.   
  • Genre: (Fiction) Coming-of-Age, Family Drama, War Drama, Semi-autobiographical.
  • Page Count: 372  
  • Book synopsis: Growing up in Kabul, Amir and Hassan are inseparable friends. As an adult living in California, Amir remains haunted by a childhood incident in which he betrayed Hassan’s trust. When he learns that the Taliban has murdered Hassan and wife, Amir returns to his homeland to learn the fate of the couple’s son.
  • Movie Adaptation: The Kite Runner (2007).  

                                                                                                            

Let me put forth a simple warning before you go any further…Inshallah this is a Masterpiece! (Or at least I think so!). If you’d want to start reading or are looking for fresh options(or rather, are tired of the common genres) this is definitely a starter!

 

The language/ text just flows smoothly and is really very down-to-earth. The reading is easier as it gets but what’s tough is the turmoil of emotions it takes you through throughout the experience.

Here’s how it starts (Chapter 1):

”I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years. ”

The depth and complexities of human relationships is highlighted and executed so well, it almost touches your soul! This book would definitely be a book you’d remember when you’re 80!
Set in Afghanistan, and then In America, Khaled manages to give the piece a pretty homely feel(you may definitely feel this once you pick the book up, especially if u live in an around the western subcontinent).

It captures the effect of war on people, and it troubles you to think what’s happening on this side of the world while you are enjoying the comforts of luxury and soft sheets.

The descriptions are non-exaggeratedly (Is that even a word?) mind-blowing.

“I can still see his tiny lowset ears and that pointed stub of a chin, a meaty appendage that looked like it was added as a mere afterthought. And the cleft lip, just left of midline, where the Chinese doll maker’s instrument may have slipped; or perhaps he had simply grown tired and careless.”

If this book doesn’t get you reading all of Khaled’s other works, I don’t know what will! (I wish he’d write more!).

The story is entirely fictional, but it involves locations Khaled has grown up in. He succeeds to give a ”real” feel to the book with his characters.
This is definitely a book I’d recommend if u want to start “reading” reading.
Also, if  this book doesn’t manage to scar you, we wouldn’t make good friends (haha!).

Obviously I’d recommend reading the book first. Watching the movie is up to you! (Let me be honest, the movie is not that of a big deal [And I don’t say this because it’s a small-budget film!] ) .

Warning: Contains certain mortifying contents. The journey itself is a turmoil.

 

Ratings:

Critics: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I’d rate it: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥