Friday, 2 November 2012

Book Report #3- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

It’s the early nineties and Charlie is a freshman in high school and hoping for a fresh start. Most of all, he is hoping to find someone he can call his friend. When Charlie meets Patrick and Sam, they take him in as one of their own and introduce a naive Charlie to a world of drugs, love, alcohol and partying. Charlie discovers that belonging to something that you care about can change the way you think about living. Through writing a number of personal letters to an anonymous individual, Charlie tells us his story and writes all the words he cannot speak. Filled with coming of age stories, emotional realizations, and a plethora of heartfelt confessions and memories, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an addictive read that will leave you speechless.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower conveys, with piercing vividness, the struggles and the complicated truths of growing up. Stephen Chbosky’s choice of how to tell Charlie’s story is compelling and makes the story believable. You’ll find pieces of yourself and people you know in any of the characters Chbosky has so flawlessly brought to life, which makes reading this book a momentous and intimate read. As Charlie writes, “Sometimes, I read a book, and I think am the people in the book,” which is exactly how I felt while reading this novel. Forgetting the world around you, becoming the characters and feeling all of the raw emotions that the characters go through is a wonderful and foreign sensation and is what I love most about literature. The Perks of Being a Wallflower manifests all that and more in a captivating and alluring fashion. I would highly recommend this book to young adults 14 + due to inappropriate content and mature themes. 

Book Report #2- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

To quote the great Sir William Shakespeare “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings”.

At age thirteen, Hazel Grace Lancaster was diagnosed with terminal thyroid cancer, casting her young life into a cloud of disarray and uncertainty. But even when her and her family find a miracle drug to prolong her life for an uncertain amount of time, it still feels as though the rest of Hazels life has been written in stone before it has even begun. Fast-forward 2 years later and Hazel is 16 years old, reclusive, recently diagnosed with clinical depression, and still has cancer. Her mother, believing it will help relieve Hazel’s social solitariness and depression, asks her to attend support group and this is where Hazel meets Augustus Waters. A mysterious, handsome boy in remission from cancer, Augustus seems to be paying special attention to Hazel of all people. Once their lives touch, the mark they will have on each other will be permanent.

The Fault In Our Stars explores how fickle the idea of human mortality really is and how the legacy of you, or me, or anyone that ever lived will be remembered once we die and the world moves on without us. Will we ever be remembered or will the oncoming oblivion of humanity render everything anyone has ever thought, or built, or created, forgotten? While the fear of oblivion is irrational, the rational of fearing oblivion is understandable- this is a theme that is prominent throughout the novel. Hazel’s eloquent and raw thoughts grab your attention and it is as though you are at Hazel’s side every step of the way. John Green’s detailed and sensitive writing style makes this book an emotional and powerful read. I would recommend this book to mature readers or anyone who loves literature. The Fault In Our Stars is heartbreaking, mind-altering, and a near perfect read.