Friday, September 6, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

From - Mr. Walrath

The final book I've read this summer is called The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.  I've wanted to read this book for a while since I saw the movie with my daughter several months ago.  It is the story of a ninth grade boy named Charlie.  Being new to the high school, he doesn't have any friends, and you get the idea that he didn't have many back in junior high either.  He meets two seniors named Patrick and Sam (a girl) who are step-brother and step-sister.  These two characters don't have a ton of friends either, so Charlie starts hanging around with their circle of people.  Patrick tells Charlie that he's a "wallflower" because he just hangs around, listens, doesn't say much, but understands a lot.  As the school year goes on, the characters' lives have a lot of ups and downs.  There is a huge twist at the end of the book where one of Charlie's secrets is revealed, that he didn't even remember because he repressed it as a child.
    My favorite line of the book and movie was when Charlie told his English teacher that his sister didn't break up with her boyfriend even after he hit her across the face.  The teacher said, "Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve."  
    There are many adult themes in this book.  Some of them include teen drug and alcohol abuse, teen suicide, date rape, closeted homo-sexuality, and child abuse and molestation.  In fact in five of the last ten years the book has been on the American Library Association's "10 Most Frequently Challenged Books" list.  That means that there is a large movement to have it banned from school libraries and school curricula.  So much for the first amendment!  There are lots of happy parts, but just as many sad parts.  However, once I began it, it was hard to put down.

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