Format: Mass Market Paperback, 232 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books and Design
With Film Version? Soooon (check out the news video at the bottom of the post)
Number of Times Read: 2x
I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day.. Or wondering who did the heartbreaking and wondering why......
... Patrick then said something I don't think I'll ever forget.
"He's a wallflower."
And Bob really nodded his head. And the whole room nodded their head. And I started to feel nervous but Patrick never let me get too nervous. He sat down next to me.
"You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand."
(Excerpt from the novel)
Charlie is this fifteen-year-old boy who is shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years, and extremely emotional. He tells his story through a series of letters addressed to a 'friend' he does not know, and who doesn't know him either, for anonymity. He attempts to navigate his way through uncharted territory-- his struggles with his mental illness, making friends AND finding best friends, girls, the world of sex, first love, first dates and mixed tapes, the feeling of being treated like an adult, and all that stuff.
Had I discovered this book in my awkward freshman high school days, I would have been able to relate, but now that I'm a crazy, adventurous teenager in her 20s, all I could do is reminisce. What happened those days certainly were the most innocent and awkward moments I ever had! In his awkward shyness, Charlie is really lucky to find two best friends-- Sam and Patrick-- they are a mixture of fun-and-seriousness, they are the kind of friends who know how to have fun and at the same time could wiggle out a good piece of advice when the going gets tough. And boy was it really tough for Charlie! I would have to mention that his childhood friend Michael committed suicide in 6th grade and his favorite aunt, Aunt Helen died in a car accident when he was younger. And there's more but I don't want to spoil it to readers!
The curious thing mentioned in the novel is the 'brownie' that was given to Charlie by his new found friend Bill. I was debating with myself whether it was a pot brownie or brownie with LSD. I did a little research and I guess, it was pot, because when Charlie ate it, he was high and he just saw lights. With LSD, seeing lights isn't the main thing, you see weird stuff like purple elephants, or feel things that aren't there. I learned that the other term for pot brownie is "space brownie". And brownie with LSD is called "magic brownie". Kinda cool, huh? I'm just being informative here. I was really curious because I've never done drugs. The most creative and cutesy teenage rebel experiment I ever done are Jell-O shots. I love the strawberry flavored ones! But I'm not gonna dwell on that now.
So.. The main thing about this story is that Charlie is caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. He is introspective, he thinks too much, too preoccupied to participate in society. Instead, he sees things, watches, observes, is intuitive and so he understands what he sees. When told not to say anything about something, he obliges. When told not to do something, he nods his head yes. Which really cripples his ability to decide on his own. Which is not good because even if he knows that something doesn't fit well, he just keeps quiet. With that, he isn't being honest with himself, and to other people.
We've all been there, or most of us anyway. Sometimes, we would observe everything and everyone around us, and we ask why is this and why is that and not getting a satisfactory answer back. Sometimes we just wanna run away from everything and forget. The thing is, we have to stop asking WHY because no one or nothing in this world can give us the right answer. So why worry about the unanswerables? (Is that even a word? But I hope you understand what I'm trying to point out.. ) The thing is, we have to live. No matter what. Why else are we living and breathing and blogging or reading or whatever it is that we're doing every minute of the day..? The thing is, we don't stop living just because something happens. The thing is, nothing in this world can stop the world from turning. The thing is, no matter what, no matter how hard, no matter how life sucks, we still have to participate. Believe me or not, everything we do in life has this domino effect. We start a few series of disaster, and it will go on and on until somebody is smart enough to stop the cascade. We start a few series of happiness, and it will go on and go on, and we should be smart enough not to stop it, we should be smart enough to do whatever it takes for the dominoes of happiness to go on and on. I know this is an impossible feat but maybe, just maybe, we can go as far as the 'almost' impossible.. Sometimes there are things we can't do anything about but even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from where.
The passage in the novel I so loved is this: “I feel infinite.” And Sam and Patrick looked at me like I said the greatest thing they ever heard. Because the song was that great and because we all really paid attention to it. Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spend, and we felt young in a good way.” Infinity. I envy Sam, Patrick and Charlie on their moment of infinity. While I know that we are humans, finite and mortal, sometimes I just want to discover a momentum where I feel even for just one second the feeling of everlasting, infinite, eternal, perpetual. And I'm not talking about getting high! (;
The great news: a movie is being made out of this one and it's scheduled to come out next year. I just hope they don't mess it up because it's a known fact that film adaptations ruin the original stories big-fucking-time. Maybe not this one, because Stephen Chbosky himself is directing. (;
Adjectives: Cool. Asteeg! (;
Buy or Borrow: WTH. Of course, BUY again! (;
"Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn't stop for anybody."
we can still choose where we go from where."
"We accept the love we think we deserve."