First Impression Friday is hosted by J.W. Martin.
First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
I have come across First Impression Friday through Krsitin Kraves Books. It piqued my interest so I decided to do my own. I started with Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece, Gone With The Wind whilst my latest was Herman Melville’s complex (and utterly confusing) Moby Dick. For this version, I am going to preview my current read, Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Standing on the fringes of life…
Offers a unique perspective, but there comes a time to see what it looks life from the dance floor.
Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky’s haunting debut novel has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, frown into a cult phenomenon with over 3 million copies in print, spent over 6 months at # 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and inspired a major motion picture.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
After months of ready mostly adult-ish (i.e. mostly serious and if there is humor, it is of the adult kind haha!) and classical works, I am finally slowing the pace down with a young adult fiction. I am not really into this genre but they do give pace breaks that I need. And what better way to slow down than with Chbosky’s The Perks of Being A Wallflower.
I’ve already watched the movie and it is perhaps the biggest influence on why I wanted to read its textual version. Whilst it was lacking in some aspects, Charlie’s story haunted and captivated me. Imagine my delight when I was finally able to purchase a copy of the book. With my anticipation growing bigger, I included it my 2019 Top 20 Reading List. It is my fifteenth book from the list, so yay, I am finally making some progress!
I am nearly halfway through the book; it is quite a short book, at least shorter than my standards. I didn’t expect that it was written in an epistolary form. It is perhaps this very same reason why the book and Charlie, the eponymous “Wallflower”, appealed to me. It gave me an intimate peek into the mind – his private thoughts, and his unexpressed emotions .
From the onset, you can already form an idea that there is something quite special, or different, about Charlie. There is something offhanded, carefree about the way that he relates his story that can make you guess that there is more to him than just being a timid wallflower. Even if you haven’t watched the movie, you can easily tell. There is something about puerile, or rather naive in the manner in which he writes his letters. His thoughts are introverted, enigmatic even, which is not really surprising.
The writing is easy to follow and suited the narrator ~ there is a rhythm and flow. The writing suited the narrator. Moreover, Charlie’s voice was universal and lines like:
“Do you now what ‘”masturbation” is? I think you probably do because you are older than me. But just in case, I will tell you. Masturbation is when you rub your genitals until you have an orgasm. Wow!”
make it even easier for the readers to crack into Charlie’s streams of thoughts. Uncharacteristically, his thoughts are very harmonious and he rarely careens into unrelated subjects.
The joke’s on me though as I already have an inkling on Charlie’s story. I am cognizant that there are dark clouds hovering above this seemingly innocent story. Thankfully, the humor, the wit, and the profound thoughts made it easier to transition from one chapter to another.
Still, I want to validate everything that I have felt about the movie. It was surprising and shocking, to say the least. For the moment, I am enjoying sifting through Charlie’s uncensored thoughts whilst at the same time preparing myself for that cathartic moment that I know would inevitably arrive as the story draws to a conclusion. If only I could make the moment linger as Charlie appeals to the younger me. But realities has to be dealt with and faced.
Happy weekend reading everyone!