Title: The Perks of being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Released: this edition August 2012 (first published 1999)
Published by: Simon & Schuster
My rating: 1 star
Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix-tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.
But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
Sometimes a book should come with a warning and this is one of those books! I was expecting a light hearted funny coming of age novel having not really read much about the actual story. But this is a very deep book with often dark subject matter that for some people could be rather disturbing, I know my mum could never read anything like this for example. Anyone who has been through any of the issues faced in this book may also not wish to read it.
I know this story started as general fiction but with the release of the film it has been place in teen sections and I'm not sure I'd be happy with my 13 year old child reading stories such as this. I think the book should have an age on the back. But that's just my personal opinion! As most of you know I work in a Waterstones and I have placed a Not for Young Readers sticker on this book.
I know we go through the story with some normal teenage things as it were, but then again not all teenagers are about smoking, getting high or drunk, I know I wasn't. But I can over look that because I know lots of teenagers are all about experimenting and wanting questions asked. But the others things we see happen are just a little too much for some people! Not nowhere on this book does it truly tell us what Charlie is about or anything to do with his life, not even a 'there a secrets to be told' or 'memories to unlock' nothing just nothing at all!!
I think people need to be warned about what really happens, had I known I wouldn't have bothered to read it and it take a lot to say that because I know authors put a lot of hard work into their stories. I think though it's not really the authors fault here. It's the lack of information we are given about Charlies story.
I was always expecting something big and you knew it was coming, you could feel it building within the story but that is not the big revelation I was expecting! Parents have asked me at the shop what the story is about and I've been very honest because I feel it's my job to be. I would never stop anyone reading anything they wished but I've no problems saying wait till they're a bit older.
This book deals with suicide, which I don't feel is really ever explained, molestation, drug use abuse & domestic abuse, which to me felt a little like it came out of no where, homosexuality which is totally fine but I wanted to know why Charlie just let his best friend constantly kiss him, because he was sad!? seriously!? My friends get sad and we don't have a kissing party, mental issues, rape, first sexual experiences, pregnancy & abortion and well, more and more.
I can see why other readers would say this is the perfect book for teenagers but for me its not, well not for the young end of the teen age range. And it's ok to say well it's young adult really or just general fiction but if you market a book for the teen section, and in most bookshops in this country we only have a teen section and not a young adult section well then, you're just inviting anyone to pick this book up.
So there's my review, my very strong feeling about The Perks of being a Wallflower. As always it's just my humble opinion and I of course don't expect others to agree but this book just really annoyed me because I felt like I was lied too, like I didn't know what I was letting myself in for!