The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

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Title
: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Format: Paperback
Publisher: MTV books and Pocket Books
Published: 1st of February 1999
Goodreads

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 mix 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 he 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.

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age debut novel by Stephen Chbosky. It is a first person epistolary novel, set over twelve months, from August 1991 to August 1992. The story is set in Pittsburgh, PA, and follows the mind of the narrator and main protagonist, fifteen year old Charlie.

This award winning, young adult, fiction novel handles teenage issues in a delicate and moving way. It has been compared to books such as the award winning compilation young adult novel, from John Green and David Levithan’s, Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Chbosky deals with a series of teenage problems throughout the novel. He touches on suicide, teenage pregnancy, abortion, homosexuality, abuse, bullying and sexual assault.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a poignant read. It is an emotional roller-coaster; sharp, perceptive and painful. From the very first page the reader is exposed to heartbreaking, touching, distressing and agonizing emotion. The novel has won multiple awards including the ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2000) and the ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2000). The Perks of Being a Wallflower is now a major motion picture, starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson.

Chbosky lays the novel out as a series of letters Charlie writes, from the beginning of freshmen year, to an anonymous receiver named Friend, chosen because he considers they “are alive and appreciate what that means” (3). The book opens in Part 1 with Charlie’s first letter. It is here that the reader is introduced to the voice of Charlie, an emotionally and socially awkward teenage boy.

As narrator, Charlie writes that he is “both happy and sad”, and that he is still trying to “figure out how that could be” (3). He writes about the loss of his friend Michael to suicide the year before, and how he is trying to understand ‘why’. Charlie tells Friend that he is writing due to his starting freshmen year at high school the next day, and he is scared of being alone.

Charlie’s voice throughout the novel, combined with Chbosky’s language,grasps the reader from the first few pages.

I found discovering the character of Charlie allows an appreciation of the brilliance in Chbosky’s writing. As a character, Charlie is shy, and emotionally and socially awkward. He comes from a seemingly stable family with loving parents, and is a character you can easily fall in love with.

Charlie begins his freshmen year by befriending his English teacher, Bill. Bill shares different English classics with Charlie, who consumes the novels. This experience helps Charlie discover his love of writing. Here you start to understand how Chbosky uses Charlie’s letters to show the reader his growth, bothemotionally and creatively. His letters become less awkward as his vocabulary matures tremendously. Charlie finds himself through his writing. He decides he wants to be a writer and the letters are his way of developing.

Furthermore, Bill helps Charlie begin his life outside of himself, by telling him to ‘participate’ in life. Charlie decides, at this moment, that he does not want to be a wallflower in his own life; he is going to ‘participate’. With this in mind, the shy and awkward Charlie finds the courage to introduce himself to his future best friends, high school seniors, Patrick and his half-sister Sam.

Throughout the year Charlie writes letters that tell of his experimentation with drugs and alcohol along side his new friends. Charlie experiences his first kiss and his first date. The letters show him standing up for his friends, finding himself in writing and music, and starring in the Rocky Horror picture show. He falls in love, learns lesson on friendship, and discovers there is always more to life if you ‘participate’. As a character, Charlie grows through his experiences. He makes mistakes and matures because of them. The greatest obstacle Charlie faces is revealed at the end of the novel.

Throughout the novel, Chbosky left clues that made me wonder if, other than the death of his Aunt Helen and his best friend Michael, something else had happened in Charlie’s childhood that made him feel so dejected.

We find the answer in the last letter Friend receives. It is from Charlie, written after he has spent two weeks hospitalized from a nervous breakdown. He writes that he was found completely naked on his couch, just watching the television, although it wasn’t switched on. It is the realization of why he is the way he is that allows Charlie, as a character, to begin his life with acceptance and forgiveness. He says goodbye to Friend, saying he is too busy trying to “participate” to write anymore, and he is not afraid of starting sophomore year tomorrow. Chobsky finishes the novel beautifully with a quote from Charlie, “[b]ecause I was standing in the tunnel. And I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite” (230).

Chbosky has created characters every teenager can relate to in Charlie, a shy and awkward wallflower, Patrick an acentric homosexual struggling to find acceptance, and Sam who just wants to feel the love she deserves.

The characters, like most teenagers, are trying to find their place in the world. Chbosky has created a true coming-of-age story. By using letters to tell Charlie’s story, Chbosky allows the reader inside Charlie’s mind. He has created a novel that confronts and challenges the reader from the beginning to the very last page.

At only 232 pages, the novel can easily be devoured within a day. All of the characters are realistic and credible. I believe every teenager will be able to relate to at least one of the characters in the novel, and share in the emotions of being a teenager with Charlie and his friends. Chbosky has created a world in which friends, music, and infinity are all possible. Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is a must read for teenagers and parents of teenagers.

5 Stars: Amazing! I loved it and could not put it down. I highly recommend it.

Girl of Nightmares – Kendare Blake

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  • Title Girl of Nightmares
  • Author: Kendare Blake
  • Series: Anna
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Tor Teen
  • Published: 7th August 2012
  • Read: 30th September 2012

Goodreads

It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

I was so sad when I found out that the Anna series had only two books. Noooooooo I screamed! That is not enough Cas or Anna. How could you do this to us Blake.

Well ‘Girl of Nightmares‘ had a lot of unanswered questions to sort out. Blake did an amazing job of finishing the short series. All our favourite characters are back along with a few new ones. Cas learns the truth behind his fathers knife, and we find out how far Cas is willing to go for Anna.

I felt that it ended to quickly. Everything was answered but I needed to have more. I really wished there was a third book. Even a novella about his dad would be amazing! Hint, hint Blake:-)

Anyone who loved Anna Dressed in Blood will love Girl of Nightmares. If you have’t read either one you better get to it. Only a few days left to add it to your Christmas list:-)

5 Stars: Amazing! I loved it and could not put it down. I highly recommend it.

“Waiting On” Wednesday (#9) – Origin

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13644052Title: Origin
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled
Published: August 27th 2013
Goodreads

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

“Waiting On” Wednesday (#9) – Origin

With the cover release this week, how could I not post Origin as my WOW.

All I can say is HOT! HOT! HOT! I am way too excited!

“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s where we can share the upcoming titles we’re most excited to get our hands on!

“Book to Movie” Monday #7 – Les Miserables

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Title: Les Miserables
Author:
Victor Hugo
Published:
1863

Goodreads

In this story of the trials of the peasant Jean Valjean–a man unjustly imprisoned, baffled by destiny, and hounded by his nemesis, the magnificently realized, ambiguously malevolent police detective Javert–Hugo achieves the sort of rare imaginative resonance that allows a work of art to transcend its genre.

I have never read this amazing classic (It is on my TBR pile) but i have always wanted to see the musical. I hope with the release in December someone might bring it back!

This movie is filled with an amazing cast and the songs are recorded with live singing!

Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, and so many more. Check out the full cast and the trailer at IMDb here.

I Am Alive by Cameron Jace

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Title: I Am Alive
Author: Cameron Jace
Series: I Am Alive
Format: Kindle
Publisher: Self Published
Published: May 23rd 2012
Goodreads

Every girl dies – not every girl really lives.

Sixteen-year-old Decca Tenderstone feels captivated when she meets gorgeous and reckless Leo, who is arrogant, silent, beautiful, and shoots almost every one he meets. The usual boring girl meets badboy story… hmm… with a twist …

They live in a dystopian future in Los Angeles where every sixteen-year-old is ranked on a scale from one to ten to determine their future. Outranks, who are considered a danger to society, are forced to attend the Monster Show, a brutal sacrificing ritual that is broadcasted worldwide on live TV, where rebellious teens are labelled Bad Kidz or Monsters and get to fight for their lives in deadly games.

To prove that you’re still alive you have to scream I Am Alive every six hours. Lower your voice, and you’re dead.

Deccaa doesn’t need Leo’s company. She has a secret of her own. While they both can’t stand each other, she will find out why she doesn’t fit into any rank.

Nothing will stand in her way as she has to make choices concerning love, life, staying alive, growing up, and finding out who she really is.

When I first opened I Am Alive (AKA Nice Day to Die), I was thrown back by how amazing and addictive the plot and characters were. You can’t help but fall in love with the heroine, Decca, not to mention the sexy Leo!

The novel opens with, “I am going to surprise you. You have no idea…” and what a surprise we get. I was blown away with the astounding fast pace storyline, devouring the whole book (Kindle Edition) in less than 24hrs.

It is set in the future where at the age of sixteen; children are forced to be ranked out of ten. If you receive a low number you are considered to be an Outrank, you are a danger to society and are thrown into a live TV Monster Show, where you are made to fight and survive.

No one has ever survived.

Decca has another theory, she is there with a secret and she will let nothing get in her way. She just needs to buy some time and remember to call out I AM ALIVE every six hours.

At 3:00am in the morning, having just finished, I laid in bed reliving all my favorite moments. I couldn’t sleep. All I was thinking was how much I NEEDED book two -Increscent!

If you love dystopian novels and are a fan of Battle Royale or The Hunger Games, make sure you grab yourself a copy! It is being released in three episodes. Episode one is called Nice Day To Die, episode two – Wheel Of Fortune and Episode Three – Through Your Eyes. 

Cameron Jace is an indie author. You might know his work from The Grimm Diaries Prequels. Make sure you check them out before his release of Snow White Sorrow. Ashes to Ashes my favourite!:-)


5 Stars: Amazing! I loved it and could not put it down. I highly recommend it.

‘Feature and Follow’ Friday #1

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Feature and Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read, that allows you to meet new bloggers and make more followers.

This weeks Question is – Books are turned into movies all the time!
Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?

I love this question and i am glad it gets to be my very first Feature and Follow. I went through all my movies and realised that all my favourites are books!

My top pick would have to be Ghost.

I love this film and think it would have a lot more depth if it was a movie!

“Waiting On” Wednesday (#8) – The Elite

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Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: April 23rd 2013
Goodreads

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestsellerThe Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

“Waiting On” Wednesday (#8) – The Elite

It is the second in The Selection series and i am so excited. I am team Maxon all the way:-)

Also I love the covers in this series. They are so gorgeous!

“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s where we can share the upcoming titles we’re most excited to get our hands on!

Top Ten Tuesday (#7) – November 13th

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Hi everyone it’s Top Ten Tuesday Time:-)
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
 

This weeks question: Top Ten Books I’d Want On A Deserted Island

 

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (hmmm does that count as seven?)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I haven’t read them since they first came out and a deserted island would be the perfect time)

Shadows by Jennifer L Armentrout (I need my sexy alien Dawson to keep me sane)

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (I am a sucker for this play)

Tully by Paulina Simons (I have read this book more times then I can remember. It was the first book I read that had so much emotion in it that I was crying for hours)

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Being on a deserted island I think it will be good to have a ‘how to survive a bunch of murderess kids’ guide)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (It is a quick read but in the small amount of pages it is full of amazing language that makes me smile)

Homer’s Iliad and The Odyssey (It would be great to have the time to read through both)

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer (I know a lot of people are going to hate this one but I am a big sucker for this series. Twilight was the only book I could read after the last Harry Potter book came out and it made me want to buy all the amazing YA books I read now!)

I can’t wait to find out what every one picked!

 

“Book to Movie” Monday #6 – Carrie by Stephen King

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Title: Carrie
Author:
Stephen King
Published:
1974

Goodreads

A modern classic, “Carrie” introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction — Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.

Make a date with terror and live the nightmare that is…”Carrie”

“Book to Movie” Monday is where I write what books I would like to see turned into a movie or a book that is already in production.

Can you believe they are making another Carrie!

Stephen Kings Carrie was first published in 1974. It isn’t one of his best books but if they do this movie right it could be so scary and i think they have. Check out the trailer Here. It looks so scary. It is also mean’t to be better than the last movie and stays closer to the book:-)

It is directed by Kimberly Peirce also known for Boys Don’t Cry.

Carrie is to be played by Chloe Grace Moretz and from the look of the trailer she is going to be amazing!

It will be released in 2013 so make sure you keep an eye out and check out IMDb for more info:-)

 

Onyx – Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Title: Onyx
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: A Lux Novel
Format: Kindle
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: 14th August 2012
Goodreads

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Oh how i love this series!

If you love YA novels you must read the Lux series. Onyx is the second in the series and has a little more action in it compared to Obsidian.

Armentrout’s writing is addictive, clever and fun! The worlds she creates and her characters are full of wit and charm. You can’t help but fall in love with them.

Onyx had me laughing one minute and in tears the next. It has a roller coaster of emotions that i really wasn’t prepared for.

A lot of the question or assumptions we had in the first book have been answered and a few more twist have surfaced. We get to meet a new character thats stirs up the ‘will they won’t they’ relationship between Katy and Daemon.

There is also a heartbreaking event that i am still not happy about! And i was starting to get annoyed at Katy’s ‘Daemon doesn’t like me’ attitude but in the end i was dying to read the next book Opal.

Opal book three is out 11th December.

5 Stars: Amazing! I loved it and could not put it down. I highly recommend it.

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