Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thoughts: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

But, mostly, I was crying because I was suddenly very aware of the fact that it was me standing up in that tunnel with the wind over my face. Not caring if I saw downtown. Not even thinking about it. Because I was standing in the tunnel. And I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite.

I first read this book two years ago, and I managed to unearth my thoughts from my old Tumblr account. Here they are:

When the novel starts, Charlie is fifteen and about to embark on his freshman year in high school. He has the whole world ahead of him, and he’s only beginning to shape his life. I’m now a college senior, and I miss the feeling of having my whole life ahead of me, ready to start a brand-new adventure. Charlie’s innocence made me realize that I started the said adventure years ago, and that I might have screwed it up.

After reading this, I wanted to smack my ninteen-year-old self on the back of the head. How could I possibly think that my adventure was over? I was nineteen, about to graduate from college and about to embark on a completely new adventure with new faces and new rules. How dare I even think such a thing?

I finished rereading The Perks of Being a Wallflower a few days ago, and I was amazed to find that I have more in common with Charlie at 21 than I did at 19. Two years ago, I thought I was perfectly normal (doing all the normal college things like getting drunk with friends and trying not to flunk any of my classes), but, now, I've come to realize that I have a tendency to hide behind books, to not participate.

And participating in life? It's pretty damn important.

When I get invited to parties or any other social event, most of the time, I'd rather stay home and dive into another classic (most likely another Sherlock Holmes book). There's nothing wrong with that, but, sometimes, it wouldn't hurt it if I decide to get up, make an effort to look nice, and actually interact with other people, to experience new things.

That, I think, is the main point of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Yes, there's something to be said about stepping back and merely examining people's motives--the things that drive them--but stepping up to the plate and doing something, going after the things you want, is important, too.

On the surface, The Perks of Being a Wallflower seems like your typical coming-of-age novel, but it is so much more than that. It's about living in the moment, not worrying about the future or carrying baggage from the past around. It's focusing on where you are right now, at this very moment, and feeling infinite.

- - -

I know that this has been made into a movie starring Logan Lerman as Charlie, Emma Watson as Sam, and Paul Rudd as Bill (Charlie's teacher), and I'm very excited to see it.

When I read this book two years ago, I actually imagined Logan Lerman as Charlie. I always thought he would be perfect for it, and you can't imagine my delight when I found out he had been cast. And Emma Watson? I always imagined someone with a wilder image as Sam, but I'm sure she'll do a great job (I guess I'll always have a soft sport for Hermione Granger).


Sam (Tiny Library) said...

You're not the only one who sometimes turns down invitations in order to stay at home with a good book! But life is what you make of it, I suppose, and like you, I'm trying to participate more.

Trisha said...

Yeah, you sound exactly like me. I keep telling myself that actual human interaction is necessary. :)

And I loved this book, and I can't wait to see Lerman in it.

Anne said...

I just finished reading this a few days ago and I loved it. Charlie is now one of my all time favorite characters!

mooderino said...

I often think the reason going out and doing all the stuff you're supposed to do isn't all that appealing is because it never seems to live up to the image we have of what going out's supposed to be like from books and movies.

I'm not sure if that makes sense.


Kailana said...

I read this and enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the movie.

Caro said...

I've been meaning to read this for a while now. It sounds like a lovely story- and one I can relate to, apparently.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I just re-read this one and it's still so beautiful. I read it when I was a freshman in college and it was a different book for me then. This time around it was more nostalgic. It's interesting to think about who we were in the past and how we've changed.

Kerry M said...

I somehow made it through an entire adolescence of avoiding invitations in favor of staying home with a book (or three) without reading this one. I recently checked out the audio version from my library though as I really want to read it before the movie takes over.


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