We are attempting something completely new to us here, so please be mindful as we tumble and stumble across our posts, trying to lay our thoughts in a somewhat organized way that will appeal to you readers. Without further ado, let’s start with our first pick: the modern classic The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
When I started the book, all I knew was that it was well-quoted and very popular. I had expectations; it had to be mind-shattering. At first, getting into it was a bit of a struggle. I was forcing myself to picture Charlie as a male character since the character sounded undoubtedly female to me yet, I found myself really enjoying the quirkiness in his character. Charlie’s candid letters confessed, very accurately, some of the intimate, awkward and plainly disturbing parts of teenagerhood that a lot of us may have experienced.
I must admit that for its time, the novel was daring. It was darker than I thought it was going to be. I think there is also more complexity to Charlie’s emotional state than what the author chose to reveal in his book. There might have been an underlying mental illness contributing to his emotional blindness and the turmoil of his inner world. I do love it when a book keeps me wondering even after I’m done reading it.
Now, this is going to sound weird but the movie made me like the book better! Personally, I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The book was phenomenal and as a lot of readers know, film adaptations have a tendency of falling short. Sure, the movie was very popular but I must admit that I assumed the success was mostly due to the presence of Emma Watson – after all, we needed to see Hermione in something after the last Harry Potter movie!
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that not only was the movie fantastic but it truly brought the book to life. All the essential elements from the story were in the movie and the cast portrayed the characters in ways that couldn’t have been any truer to the book.
The awkward Charlie moments that made the novel so quirky and addictive were present, from the pot brownies to the Truth or Dare game where he really messed things up with Mary Elizabeth (we had almost forgotten about that moment until we watched it happen – in horror – right in front of our eyes).
I was certain that because the book is written from Charlie’s narrative, a lot of things would get lost in translation. The emotions, all his thoughts and the social awkwardness. Fortunately, this is another thing that the film and its actors portray well.
It’s not often that I like the movie more than the book. I find that the filmed edition greatly complimented the story. I think the overall adaptation from book to movie deserves a 5 out of 5 feathers!