Monday, July 2, 2012

The Perks of Being a Reader

Throughout the month of June, I begged you folks to join the Kiss My Smash book club. This month I chose The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky .

I wanted to have a facebook discussion about the book last night, but I only heard from one lone reader with any interest, so even I didn't show up. (I also was extremely distracted by a long FaceTime session with my friend Bee).

I'm not going to give up on the book club yet! But let's read something that we are ALL interested in. Leave a comment below on this blog post with what book you want to read and why! I'll announce the July book at the end of the week, and we can give this book club another go round.

Now is the time I'm sure you have all been waiting for - my verdict on the book. I've already told you I enjoyed the book, but why?

The book is a series of letters from Charlie, a young adolescent boy, trying to cope with his first year of high school. The book opens with a letter from Charlie to an unknown person, whom he continues to write to throughout the book. It is the late 1980's and one of Charlie's closest friend from middle school had unexpectedy died and this occurence thrusts Charlie out of his childhood and into adolescence. The moment is jarring and heavy. Right off the bat, the reader realizes Charlie is different from the average 14 year old boy from the way he thinks, interacts with other people and reacts to situations. His emotions are more intense than expected, and he has a hard time taking cues from the people around him. He is very concrete and literal. Often times I wondered if the book took place in present day that Charlie would have a diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Charlie forms an instant bond with two seniors, a brother and sister team that understand Charlie isn't a typical teenager but still has a lot to offer. The book follows this trio throughout the year and it is very easy to feel a connection to this characters right away. Without giving too much away, a few of the characters have traumatic experiences and Charlie's accounts are literal, real, and deep. When I read a brief description of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I was expecting a light read. Instead I was surprised at the moments of darkness.
The book wraps up nicely and even with those heavy moments there's a sense of completion. I am always irritated when I finish a book and I still have so many questions. Happily, I was not irritated with this book.
Do I recommend reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Yes. It's a great read for summer time, it's quick and easy but still contains enough substance.

If you have or decide to read Perks - let me know! I'd love to hear if you agree or disagree with me.






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