Erica: Oops, sorry I'm a few minutes late. I got distracted reading.
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.
This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course 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.
Lissa: Katy, I had to wonder about his reliability too. He seemed vague about things and then he seemed dishonest about a ton of things
Alexandra: I had a hard time with the narration in total, truth be told, and ergo I often had a hard time understanding what Charlie did see or understand, because he jumped around topics SO often
Alison: I also felt part of his wallflower-ish-ness was how introspective he was
Alexandra: Here's what I wrote in my book about the introspectiveness: "This is why I don't like first person narration. I can't get any space. My face is smashed up against the glass of his thoughts and I want to step back but he won't let me." I was so in his head the whole time I felt stripped of my ability to imagine anything.
Katy: That's pretty perfect, Alexandra. He was a particularly suffocating narrator. Oddly, though, I didn't hate him
Lissa: Alexandra, I think that was probably the intention of the narrative though. Charlie's being trapped by all his thoughts and he's writing them out to someone to try and sort them out, and while that doens't make for a very assembled reading experience, I think it was totally intentional and worked, characterization/narration wise
Alexandra: Lissa, I see your point, and I agree. I think it was intentional, and it conveyed a certain kind of reading experience and perhaps what it was like to be bogged down by his muddled thoughts. I didn't hate him either, I just had a hard time with the structure
Lissa: I really dislike letter-format in books. I've never read a book where I've appreciated that format
Alexandra: Structure is a make it or break it for me--if you guys notice, every time I say I hate a book (Wuthering Heights, looking at YOU) I moan about the structure. So there's that
Alison: I actually was very okay with the structure. But I can see the letter thing and how honest and in his head made for a tough read
Alexandra: I have a friend who used to make mix cds for all her friends--a couple favorite songs of mine came from the cds she made me. I love receiving playlists or mixes from friends because it says a lot about them and a lot about how they think of me. I'm terrible at giving them, though.
If you’re curious as to my thoughts on the book, I’ll be
Have YOU read The Perks of Being a Wallflower? What are your thoughts? And what would YOU put on a “mix tape” for a friend?