Sunday, August 25, 2013

{Book + Movie Review} The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
Pages: 216
Release Date: August 14, 2012
by MTV Books

Goodreads / Purchase
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 year 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 sidelines 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.


This is a very special book.  It’s unlike any book I’ve ever read, that’s for sure.  It’s more serious, it’s got older issues, and it’s deeper.  It’s books like these that are the hardest to review because there are so many unique and different things about them.  This book had absolutely gorgeous writing, and the voice for the whole book was very – I’m not sure how to explain it – childish, but at the same time very teenaged and serious.  I know that probably doesn’t make any sense, but it’s the only way I can think to describe it.  The story line was very interesting, and the story was heartbreaking but uplifting at the same time.  For me, the ending was really sad because I was hoping for everything to turn out differently, but it also seems like the right ending for the book.

When I come across these kinds of books, I can’t help but compare them to Silver Linings Playbook.  I’m talking about problem books with messed up characters who do messed up things.  YA needs some imperfect characters, and I feel like this book was full of them.  Charlie is very shy, has very little self-confidence, but is also very adorable, in my mind, and a very nice kid, and the perfect narrator for this story.  Patrick is gay, confident, but also messed up because of the things that he does (like getting drunk or high or something.)  Sam is the same way.  She’s very confident, very sure of herself, but also, at least in my opinion, very vulnerable and weak under all that.  And she makes the same mistakes as Patrick.  As a whole, the cast is very unique, and perfect for this book.


This book didn’t absolutely blow me away, and it wasn’t my favorite, but it was enjoyable, and it had a serious undercurrent, and I can’t wait to watch the movie adaptation of it.


2 stars


Movie Review:



Release Date: October 12, 2012
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating: PG-13

Trailer / IMDb
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is based on the wildly popular novel by Stephen Chbosky about a freshman named Charlie (Logan Lerman) who is always watching from the sidelines until a pair of charismatic seniors takes him under their wing. Beautiful, free-s pirited Sam (Emma Watson) and her fearless stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller) shepherd Charlie through new friendships, first love, burgeoning sexuality, bacchanalian parties, midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the quest for the perfect song.



Even though I thought the book was okay, I really liked this movie.  It was really sad, really depressing, really awkward, and really crazy and inappropriate, but it was good because there need to be movies like that out there.  I think it was a great adaptation of the book, probably because Stephen Chbosky directed it himself.  So, even though some things were different, for the most part it stayed true to the book, and I think it was very well done.  The lines and events were very well done, and the actors did a really great job.

I think the casting was done very well for this movie, and I think the actors played their parts perfectly.  Emma Watson as Sam was very good, even though at times I thought her American accent sounded a bit Irish, but oh well.  She was how I imagined Sam, for sure, and Emma did a great job.  Logan Lerman as Charlie was also very good.  He played the pathetic, shy, adorable, sad Charlie that I imagined perfectly, and he really put a ton of emotion into the movie.  And also it doesn’t hurt that he’s pretty cute.  And then Ezra Miller as Patrick was very good as well.  His personality was great, and his spunk and confidence really showed through in Ezra’s acting.  Great job cast.


I think the movie might actually be a bit better than the book, which doesn’t happen very often for me, but the great acting, movie making, and screenwriting really made this movie special.


3.5 stars

4 comments:

  1. I haven't read the book, but the film killed me. I agree that Logan was perfect in this. All of those scenes at the end -- my heart just broke so many times. His "Stop Crying" line -- gosh, I started bawling in the theater. Love your review, Emily ;)

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  2. I watched the movie over the past weekend after finishing the book - I also agree the casting was fantastic but I really do feel the book was better!

    Thanks for the review :) I'm wanting to write my own.

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  3. Funny and sad, involving and moving, this quirkily named film with its mixed cocktail of characters offers more than you expect.
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  4. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is probably the most sincere book to have come out in the past decade or so. Touching to the last, funny and heartwarming, it will adhere to your fingertips like crazy glue until you've turned that final page. And chances are you might just pick it right back up. More likely than that though, is that you'll rush out to share it with someone because it's just that good.
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