I have another big hype for you today – The Perks of Being A Wallflower! I think this is one of the most read Young Adult novels out there, especially in the contemporary genre. I’ve been meaning to read the book for ages because I loved the movie so much (yes, I watched the movie first, SORRY). Now that I have, I can finally make a proper comparison.
Let’s do this!
From the Goodreads page,
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 years 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 sideline 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.
Aw man, I can’t tell you how long I’ve been meaning to read this book. It honestly sounded like my book – I, too, identify as a socially awkward wallflower. So I thought Charlie and I would get along perfectly. When I finally picked up the book, though, I immediately realised this wasn’t going to be what I was hoping for. I didn’t care for the writing or the way Charlie handled things. For a 15-year-old, he seemed really ignorant about a lot of stuff, and never during the story did I really feel for anything that was happening. Everyone stays a bunch of paper characters. I honestly do not understand the hype, and that makes me sad, because I had high hopes.
The movie is a different matter altogether. I do admit to having watched the movie first – years ago, so you can’t really fault me. And I thought it was absolutely perfect. Now that I’ve also read the book, I can see that it was an incredibly true and faithful movie adaptation. Everything that happened in the book really came to life in the movie, and I think everyone will agree with me that Ezra Miller could not have been a better Patrick.
I just found Charlie very apathetic – which he is, because of his mental condition, I guess – but seeing things from his POV made every scene feel apathetic as well. This is odd because the book deals with some very heavy issues, such as teen pregnancy and domestic abuse, and I just went… meh. Because Charlie doesn’t make me feel like any of it matters, and that blows.
Surprise, surprise – I would choose the movie over the book any day of the week. I just really felt like things were more alive, everything was better fleshed out, and it actually made me feel things. Would highly recommend this movie, even to those who haven’t read the book. It stands beautifully on its own.
Do you agree with this? Or do you have a different opinion? Let me know!