Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2 in 1 Review: Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

"We accept the love we think we deserve." Cheesy, but oddly appropriate.
Genre: YA, Coming of Age
Series: N/a
Rating: Solid 4☆s 

Book review
Dear friend,

Today I finished a book and I writing to you because I thought you'd like to hear about it and maybe even read it if you are into this type of books. Though it did not make me cry (my mother berates me for being emotionless) like it did to many others, it touched my heart ,something I did not know I had until now. Stephen Chbosky,  (or can I call him Steve? since after reading this I feel like we should be friends) tells us a coming of age story through the mind of Charlie, an awkward introvert who thinks too hard about life. I believe that the hardest part of growing up is finding yourself and Steve does a good job of telling it. 

Teenage years is the age of experimentation. Your first year at high school, your first kiss, your first car, your first heartbreak and hopefully not your first time getting stoned. I applaud Charlie for surviving his freshman year and for being able to confront his past even if he was scared to do so. But I think it's mostly because of his friends that he was able to live through the living hell known as high school. Sometimes I wished I had friends like that in real life.  With Patrick who teaches you to live your life with risks and to not be sorry for being yourself. With Sam for being beautiful and understanding, and for having great taste in music. With Mary Jane for being indifferent to what others think. With Alice and her love for all things gothic and grotesque. With Bob well...he is just Bob. The greatest part is that they all love Charlie for who he is. Every school needs a support group for the misfits. 

Charlie. Even though I was reading through his letters I still don't know Charlie very well. I should probably tell you why. I do understand that Charlie was traumatized from what Aunt Helen did, I would be too, but sometimes his behavior is age inappropriate. I've noticed that he cried more than a multiple of times in the story. Now you might think I'm insensitive for thinking that crying is "inappropriate". You know how in movies there is always  that one touching scene when one of the characters is losing something/someone significant and they're bawling their eyes out and you can't help but try to hide your tears. But this isn't the case with Charlie. Charlie cries a LOT for no particular reason (so insignificant that I can't even recall a  single reason for him cryingthat his sadness was lost on me and I feel no empathy for him. Also,  he remains ignorant of sex and of the opposite sex. I find it strange that a 15 year old hadn't received sex education even though I probably learned everything I needed to know in 5th grade. But that is just my personal opinion and I am always wrong.

Overall, this book is an easy read. I like it very much because this story is told in such an amusing and humorous outlook. I recommend that you read it even if you might not like it, just to see what all the hype is about. 

Love always,

Movie Review
Starring: Logan Lerman as Charlie
             Emma Watson  as Sam
             Ezra Miller as Patrick
Rated: PG-13
Rating: 4.5 ☆s
Do you know this movie was directed by Stephen Chbosky himself? Incidentally, the screenplay is also written by him too! I think to myself dang what CAN'T this man do? This is one of the very, very, very minor case that I actually prefer the movie over the book. Everyone I've met raved about this movie (like oh my God why haven't you seen it good). Now, I say I am a very fair person(usually); if it's good it's good. This time I actually agree with the hype. I am impressed by how well the book translated into the movie. Needless to say, if you didn't like the book. chances are you won't like the movie. They kept the major storyline and excluded the right details under the time crunch.

The cast. The acting was good. I am no professional, though I can't tell what is good acting, everyone can tell what is bad acting.  As long as you can fool me and the characters don't come off as "strained", I say it's passing. Though Logan Lerman is relatively new to the acting world ( I first saw him in Hoot), he acted very much like how I would imagine Charlie to be. Emma Watson is a gorgeous, talented young lady. Though I am not a die-hard fan, I cannot help but admire her throughout the movie. Doesn't she look like Tiffany Alvord?

Oh, and one minor thing that I really LOVE about the movie is how they censored more of the sensitive/awkward topics mentioned in the book. In the book, Charlie  faces his friend's suicide,  witnesses rape, and dealt with his sister's abortion. They also changed Charlie's character. I thought he was a bit more mature in the book considering the fact that he only cried once in the movie and he opted out of doing drugs. I don't know if they cut it out for timing issue or to keep it clean ,but I was grateful for it. I was watching the movie with my friends so every time one of the "steamier" ( don't worry, everything stayed PG) came on, I screamed awkward in my mind. Go figure. 

Let's move onto things I wasn't too peachy keen about. Considering the fact that I have read the book before I watched the movie, I knew what was going on. The tricky part is that my friends haven't. The sole reason that Charlie developed his mental illness was lost on them because I think that  all the flashbacks explaining what happened occurred too fast for a unsuspecting viewer to catch. The only reference to what his aunt had done to him as a child happened in the span of a few seconds and though I recognized that scene, people who haven't read the book may not recognize it. The aunt is portrayed as a "good character" and the audience will naturally assume that Charlie is haunted by his aunt's death and not for some other reason.

I rated this movie based off of my watching experience and whether I enjoyed it or not. Since I am no movie critic, I am not basing this review off of the acting, cinematography, and screenplay. This is my personal take and like always, I am open to different viewpoints. :)


  1. I really loved both the book and the movie! Loved both of your reviews as well! Yay!

  2. I was never planning on reading this until I saw the previews for the movie. Emma Watson and Logan Lerman are great actors! I'll have to read the book before the movie so I have something to look forward to. Glad there is some humor in the book, I love when I can laugh when reading! (It creeps people out around me) LOL

    Thanks for reviewing both!
    Alise @ Readers In Wonderland


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