The Perks Of Being A Wallflower – Book Review

20120923-195623.jpg

With the 3rd of October (the release date of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower film) being soon upon us, I thought it would be fitting to post about the book before I go to see the movie.
20120923-195656.jpg

The book is written in the form of letters from the main character, Charlie, to a recipient known only as FRIEND. He tells this Friend about his family and friends, Sam, Patrick and company, his English teacher, Bill, and the trials they all face as family, friends and teenagers. A coming of age story not only focusing on the good and bad but also the really, REALLY bad side of life as a teen dealing with love and life.

My sister gave me the book as a birthday present a few years ago after learning that I liked The Smiths, saying it would change my life. And while after reading it I didn’t really know how it changed my life (sure it introduced me to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and some awesome music) I really didn’t see how amazing this book was until last week when I re-read it. I started on the Wednesday and finished on Thursday. I was having a bad day on Wednesday and when I got about half way through the book and came across a particular poem I had to put the book down. I became – unsettled – in a way.

The poem:

Absolutely Nothing

Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it ‘Chops’
because that was the name of his dog
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed alot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
Valentine signed with a row of X’s
and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it.

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it ‘Autumn’
because that was the name of the season
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint
And the kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed alot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it.

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it ‘Innocence: A Question’
because that was the question about his girl
And that’s what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
of the Apostle’s Creed went
And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
And the girl around the corner
wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at 3am he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring soundly.

That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem
And he called it ‘Absolutely Nothing’
Because that’s what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn’t think
he could reach the kitchen.
Osoanon Nimuss

Source: Poem Hunter – Absolutely Nothing

I wasn’t expecting that ending. I didn’t finish the book until the next day when I was feeling better and it left me feeling uplifted. I even created a playlist on YouTube based on the playlist in the book (all music I love, by the way.)

I think your reading of the book all depends on your frame of mind at the time. On Wednesday, I was stressed and panicking about all the small, insignificant things, so I saw this book in a negative way. On Thursday, I got my hair done and was completely stress free so I said I would finish the book. Charlie, the writing, the way he expressed his feelings, the advice he was given and it left me happy and not wanting to spend anymore time on the negatives.

I swear, in that moment, we were infinite

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s