Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The Perks of Being a Wallflower-- Stephen Chbosky
Rarely, maybe even just once or twice in a lifetime, you read a book and it changes your life. This was one of those books for me. When I was in college, a dear friend, now sister-in-law, told me I needed to read this book. At this stage of my life, I was knee deep in Bronte, Whitman, and Shakespeare and had never really read any current YA literature. I began reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower just after dinner and finished the book in the wee hours of the morning... because I just couldn't put it down.
In this book you meet Charlie, a character who will never really leave you. You read his letters, though you are not quite sure to whom exactly he is writing. As the story progresses, Charlie tries to transform himself from being a transparent, vanilla, passive wallflower. He befriends older kids who are the Rocky Horror, beer drinking, Smiths loving types. He experiments. He makes mix tapes. He BECOMES. Instead of hiding from his life, he starts living it with the gusto and recklessness of youth that simultaneously breaks your heart and makes you nostalgic for those times of your own life. Music, especially one song "Asleep" by The Smiths, is central to this book. Here is a list of songs that are featured in this book (thank you wikepedia!): If you have never heard "Asleep" then you must must must listen to it. Trust me on this one.
Asleep- The Smiths
Vapour Trail- Ride
Scarborough Fair- Simon and Garfunkel
A Whiter Shade of Pale- Procol Harum
Time of No Reply- Nick Drake
Dear Prudence- The Beatles
Gypsy- Susan Vega
Nights in White Satin- The Moody Blues
Daydream- The Smashing Pumpkins
Blackbird- The Beatles
Landslide- Fleetwood Mac
Smells Like Teen Sprit- Nirvana
Another Brick in the Wall Pt. II- Pink Floyd
Something- The Beatles
Now, dontcha want to go and make a mix tape? Oh, and how did this book changed my life? Well, after I read this book I started reading YA books obsessively... like 10-12 books a week... like if you could go to rehab for reading-addiction, I would have been there. And now, 6 years later, I am a YA Librarian (go figure). Thanks, Ingrid.