28 Nov 2023



"I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day...or wondering who did the heart breaking and wondering why."

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 mixed 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.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

👍 Not normally a fan of the diary entry format, even less so books written in the 'stream of consciousness' style so as you might imagine I approached this book {one of several received from my mam} with some degree of doubt. Imagine then if will my surprise that I actually enjoyed The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. 

👍 A character driven reader who particularly enjoys well written female characters ... and is even more impressed when they are penned by a man; Chbosky's female characters are every bit as well developed as their male counterparts. 

👎 Sexual abuse and suicide feature quite heavily as do drugs, sex and swearing. In a book of just over 200 pages there are also themes of rape, relationship violence, abortion, drugs, child molestation, incest ... the list goes on; that's an awful lot of heavy issues to be dealing with, so many in fact that I felt the author could not do justice to them all and it felt as if some were pointed out and then seemingly forgotten.


'You do not leave a sick child alone to face the dark and you do not leave a child at a time like this.'

Warsaw 1940. The Jewish ghetto is under the Nazis' brutal control. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children slowly starve within the walls. 

But while all around is darkness, one man brings hope, caring for the ever-increasing number of destitute orphans in the face of unimaginable conditions.

And, torn apart as the noose tightens around the ghetto, how will one young couple's survive the terrible tests of wartime?

A book that though fiction features actual individuals, something that could not fail but to bring home the horror of their fates. 

Whilst I did enjoy {if that's the right word to use} The Good Doctor Of Warsaw, I'm afraid I felt it was the author's depiction of these individuals that let the book down somewhat; that sad to say I found main characters { Misha and Sophia} lacking in substance and rather, well, flat which was rather disappointing given that their story goes on for so much longer than that of Dr. Korczak, the good doctor of the title, whose story seems very much secondary.

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nightwingsraven said...

Keeping in mind your reservations
about The Good Doctor of Warsaw,
The Perks of Being A Wallflower
piqued my curiosity and I will
keep it in mind. And thank you
for your excellent review.

Kelly said...

I think I'm more drawn to the first book, but I'm not sure I'm up for teenage angst right now. It also might depend on the timeframe in which it's set. I'm glad the format worked for you in this case. I enjoy a diary/journal format.

Karen said...

I can't remember if I read Perks many years ago or not. But glad that you enjoyed it, overall.