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Perks of Being a Reader

I just finished reading Perks of Being a Wallflower. I read this book because the movie preview for it looked compelling, and I wanted to be able to say smart things about the movie after seeing it, such as,

“What an interesting interpretation of the book!”
“The movie really captured the book’s essence,”
“The dialogue was delivered just as I imagined it after reading the book,” and
“Let me make myself clear: I read the book before seeing the movie, because that’s the kind of intellectually cultivated person I am.”

The book was well-written and started out rather depressing, but it had a message of hope in it that I appreciate in stories. It’s also a quick read and fortunately didn’t remind me of my high school experience but did remind me of people I knew and that we all grow up differently. That wasn’t a particularly profound statement, but these blog pages aren’t going to fill themselves with brilliance all the time. I’m not a wizard.

The book did remind me to look into The Smiths, the alternative artists that were cult favorites in the 80’s. In both this book and 500 Days of Summer, The Smiths serve as a uniting force among characters that are unique, smart and attractive. Since I’ve already found my soul mate and have a healthy cache of smart, unique and attractive friends, I don’t have to become a Smiths fan immediately, but I do think I should add appreciation of them to my list of “things to do to seem hip” list.

I hope I don’t ruin the book or movie for anyone who wants to see it, but I did find the big reveal at the end discomforting. I grew to accept Charlie’s passive, anxious behavior as part of who he was, and that was actually an interesting journey that forced me to momentarily explore my own prejudices. So when we, and everyone else, learn the thing we learn at the end, it’s almost the author’s way of justifying the protagonists’ wallflower personality throughout the book, suggesting he wouldn’t be as he is without this thing having happened, when actually it’s okay to be the way he is, without some kind of event triggering it.

Anyway, my point is, Jennie*, if you’ve read the book, we should discuss it sometime because you understand personality really well, and you are always fun to talk to.

*If you are not Jennie, I apologize for any confusion. This paragraph is only meant for Jennie, although it’s likely you are fun to talk to as well.

Published in Thoughtful Reflection

One Comment

  1. Jennie Jennie

    Once I graduate, I will definitely read this book- and then we can have a book club. Just a warning- sometimes I get too passionate during book clubs, and have to take a walk.

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