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November 30, 2021

Book Chat Fun - The Perks of Being a Wallflower


NOTE: I am going through something right now, so I won’t be replying to comments or returning visits so quickly. Thanks for your understanding!


THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER


“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower


I first read The Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2013 after the film adaption came out (September 2012).

The Perks is a great example of voice. While reading, Charlie's voice (which is the alias of the narrator in the novel who gives all the other characters aliases, too) comes across as young, innocent, and quite naive. He doesn't understand a lot, but he understands certain things in his own way. The voice is written simply, which is perfect for his character and his age (he's a freshman in high school). He's a character who is deeply shy and full of guilt and suffers from depression and PTSD. He's also very caring and thoughtful, which leads him to do things to make others happy even if it's reckless for himself. You get all of this while reading.

The book is composed as letters to an anonymous person he only refers to as "Dear Friend," so it also is a great example of structure.

I loved all the books and songs that were mentioned throughout the story.

Here's a list of the songs Charlie records on a mix tape as a gift to Patrick:

  • "Asleep" by The Smiths
  • "Vapour Trail" by Ride
  • "Scarborough Fair" by Simon and Garfunkel
  • "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum
  • "Time of No Reply" by Nick Drake
  • "Dear Prudence" by The Beatles
  • "Gypsy" by Suzanne Vega
  • "Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues
  • "Daydream" by The Smashing Pumpkins
  • "Dusk" by Genesis
  • "MLK" by U2
  • "Blackbird" by The Beatles
  • "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac

And because I love music, I'm going to share a couple of videos for you.

The first video is a remake of the song "Asleep" by Emily Browning for the movie SuckerPunch (a weird movie with good music and special effects). "Asleep" is Charlie's favorite song, and to tell you the truth, I think he'd love this version of it.

(Kudos to you if you caught the book reference I did right there.)

Take a listen:



This second video is for one of my all-time favorite songs, and, yes, it has to do with The Perks, but not the book...the movie. This is the song they used for the trailer. To tell you the truth, it was the whole reason I wanted to see the movie (imagine my surprise when it's not even used for the credits at the end). The song is "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons. Whenever I listen to it, I get up and dance. Or as Cristina Yang from Grey's Anatomy would say I "dance it out." I like to imagine that Sam and Patrick would have a dance routine for it.

Here's the movie trailer:

(The song starts at 1:19, but if you've never seen the movie,
why not watch the whole trailer through?)



And here's the actual song. Take a listen:

(And do me a favor and dance a bit, even if it's in your chair.
You don't even have to watch, just listen.)



I want to share a little more, which will make this post longer, but longer posts have more value, so here I go...

I got into journaling after reading The Perks in 2013. I want to share with you parts from my first journal entry.

January 18, 2013

Yesterday I finished reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The whole time I was reading it, I secretly wished I was back in high school so I could write letters to a mysterious person about my experiences. This book is part of the reason why I am starting this journal today. But also because I've always wanted to write one and now seems like a good time to begin. 

[...]

I went to Walmart yesterday and in the parking lot I saw a yellow truck that reminded me of my close friend in 5th grade whose dad had a yellow truck. I hadn't thought of her in years and instantly wanted to find her on Facebook. When I got back home, I did just that. She accepted my friend request and sent me a message asking if I had been in her 4th grade class. I corrected her and told her a few things I remembered, including catching grasshoppers during recess. She said I was about the only person she remembers from that time and she thinks I gave her a quote book as a gift once.

The ironic thing about that is I don't remember giving her a quote book. She checked and apparently I really did. The coolest part about that is she told me she still reads it and even used one of the quotes for the tattoo on her back. It felt neat having that kind of influence on someone without even knowing it. Even if she might have forgotten me.

I just hope that one day I can make an impact on more people. That is what I hope to do through my writing.

 

The entry ends there. At the top of that page is this quote that I believe is the quote she got as a tattoo:

"...and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk I took to blossom."

I just looked it up and that's a quote by Anais Nin.


Also, at the top of the first entry, above the date, I had written, "Ssh..." I'm not sure why.

Anyway, here's a picture I took of The Perks after reading it in October of this year.

Finally, here's a list of all the books Charlie's English teacher had him read:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

I hope you enjoyed all these extras for The Perks and my memories of it.


“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower


If you're interested in reading The Perks and buying a physical copy, get it from Bookshop.org, which supports independent, local book stores and is much better than Amazon. Just saying.



P.S. I had intended to also talk about The Heroine's Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture by Gail Carriger, but I'm saving that for next year.


QUESTIONS: Have you ever read or watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower? What did you think? Did you have any takeaways from the book or film? Have you read any of the books Charlie's teacher gave him? Do you like any of the songs mentioned in this post?




22 comments:

  1. I think I saw the movie? It didn't touch me the way it touched you, but we all react differently to stories. I remember reading A Separate Peace in high school. It is not a good memory.

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    1. The book touch me more than the movie did, but it's very true that we all react differently. For instance, I HATE, with a passion, The Catching in the Rye, while so many love it.

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  2. I have both read the book and seen the movie and enjoyed both. I had the book in my classroom back when I was teaching, too.

    I, too, read A Separate Peace in high school and really liked it. I hated Catcher in the Rye, though. :)

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    1. I love, love, love that you had the book in your classroom. A great addition!

      I HATE The Catcher in the Rye with a passin. Hate it! lol

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  3. I've not read the book or seen the movie. I have read many of the books on his list and like many of the songs too. Thanks for sharing this.
    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Thank you for visiting my post full of memories. :) And thank you for your prayers! <3

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  4. Hi Chrys - loved the post ...though I've not read, nor seen the book or film ... but am grateful for the list of songs, and books - many I need to read, but also enjoy listening to those songs, most of which I know. Take care - and all the best ... see you when you're able - cheers - Hilary

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the lists of songs and books. :) Thank you for visiting my blog even when I was unable to return a visit. <3

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  5. I haven't read it or seen the movie. Take care of yourself, Chrys!

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  6. Thanks for sharing. I haven't read Perks of Being a Wallflower, but sold many copies through Books Inc. Most of the reading list I've read, including Ayn Rand. Le sigh. Sending you positive thoughts and vibes. :)

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Adrienne! I can imagine that a lot of copies were sold of Perks, especially when the movie came out.

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  7. Hope whatever you're going through comes out okay. I've haven't seen or read the story, but I've stared at the movie cover several times debating if I should pick it up. You've convinced me to do it.

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    1. Thank you, Loni, I appreciate that.

      If you watch the movie, you'll have to let me know what you think of it. :)

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  8. I really found this movie quite powerful. I also recall a few years back, that a parents' group at a high school were trying to get the book removed from the twelfth grade reading syllabus. It was in a small town in the Interior of B.C. I don't know if the parents succeeded in their narrow minded attempt :P I hope not. I haven't read the book but I know I would love it. I have read several from Charlie's English class list. One or two I DNF, such as On The Road. However To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favorites. I've read it several times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your journal entry. I find it interesting to read back on my own journals but even more so to get a glimpse of someone else's. :o

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    1. I can't believe that parents try to ban books like this. I hope they didn't succeed. Twelfth graders can certainly handle reading this book.

      I'm glad you enjoyed this post with my journal entry. I like to do that every once in a great while. :)

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  9. Thinking of and praying for you. I hate when things happen that causes life to pause. I hope you work through or around it.

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  10. Hi Chyrs,

    I haven't read the book or seen the movie. I love the Anais Nin quote... just beautiful! Take care and we are all sending you healing thoughts and prayers...

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  11. Hi Chrys - I've noted the book and the movie and hope at some stage to read/see it ... then the recommendations - some I've read, others I need to ...

    I hope things are easier for you ... and that you can have a peaceful and happy Christmas festive time - cheers Hilary

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    1. You'll have to tell me what you think of the book and movie. No wrong answers or opinions. :)

      Thank you, Hilary!

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