Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Express Yourself: Most Recent Book Read

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

Here's the question for this week: What's the last book you read?  If you want, please give a small review for us.  How many stars, etc., etc.

As always, I've been constantly immersed in books.  Earlier this month, I read City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, and I'm currently in the middle of reading Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin.  I also have The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman waiting for me on my shelf, so that will be the next on my list.

However, right in between City of Heavenly Fire and Winter's Tale, I read a short little book that I'm sure plenty of you have heard of.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I'm not sure why I hadn't read it before now.  I spotted it on the library shelf a couple weeks ago, and I decided to give it a shot.  It took me the span of a day to read it.

The main character Charlie is extremely socially awkward.  In that sense I could definitely relate to him.  We get his story in the form of letters written anonymously to someone whose identity we never learn.  We see him interact with a teacher who sees something special in him.  We see him befriend a group of seniors and the ways he tries to participate in the world around him.  Every step of the way, I felt his awkwardness, and I empathized with his struggles, both with school and family life.  He also struggles with mental illness (though I won't get into too many details about that, since I don't want to ruin the book for anyone who wants to read it).  I love that books like this exist, because there are so many young people who struggle with the deep, dark issues presented in this novel.  These kids need to see protagonists with whom they can relate.

There are some limitations with the book being written as a series of letters. There are a lot of crucial events in his life that we as readers don't get to see in real detail.  At the same time, though, the fact that it's written as a series of letters makes it feel intimate, as if Charlie is telling the reader the nitty gritty details of his life in a direct and honest way.  In the end, even with the things the reader doesn't get to see, I felt the style of the novel worked well.

I loved this book.  It's not a perfect book, but it's an important one, and I'd highly recommend it .

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

What is the most recent book that you've read?


  1. That's so wonderful that you've read all those books in recent weeks! I must admit my summer reading has been less than what I hoped so far, but that should change in the next few weeks. Yippee!

  2. I read this after watching the film adaptation, and I loved it. It's a great book. I can't wait to read City of Heavenly Fire, it's on my bookshelf waiting :)

  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - This is one of the VERY few movies that I've seen, but not yet read the book. I know I really enjoyed the film, so I have a feeling that I'd like the book.

  4. I haven't read the book, or seen the movie for 'Wallflower', sounds like I might just have to :)