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05 July 2006 @ 08:55 am
Stephen Chbosky’s THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (4.5 stars)  
Stephen Chbosky’s THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER is the simplest book I’ve ever read. And when I say simple, I don’t mean it in a Lennie-From-Of-Mice-And-Men sort of way. I mean it in a How-Are-These-Letters-Getting-Me-To-Feel-So-Much? way. The honest voice trapped within this series of letters records a year in the life of a sensitive guy just trying to survive and understand his freshman year of high school.

Charlie can’t help being so quiet and observant. He doesn’t have many friends, and the ones he manages to make are two or three years older than he is. Like Sam, the senior girl who doesn’t think he’s crazy for being who he is. And Patrick, who lets him in on the secrets of teenage life. And Bill, the first-year teacher who gives Charlie advanced reading assignments because he realizes there’s a gifted side to Charlie that nobody else but Aunt Helen ever sees. But those friends are the ones who get him to understand that life may be good when you sit back and observe but it’s infinitely better when you participate.

If only things were that easy. His dad’s telling him to work through his problems because some people have it much worse than he does. His brother’s gone off to college. His sister won’t stop seeing the guy who beats her. Patrick doesn’t want anyone to know he’s gay. In fact, everyone seems to trust him with their deepest darkest secrets and expect him to lock them up inside. On top of that, the girl he loves won’t look at him that way because he’s too young.

Until the Secret Santa gift exchange and the party scene and the kiss and the slashed tires and the joyride to the city with Sam and Patrick with the stereo playing music they’ll never forget and Sam standing up in the back of the truck and the wind whirling her dress and the lights of the city flashing into view and them feeling infinite. Because if anything’s capable of changing a wallflower, it’s that. And it’s a beautiful thing to watch.

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dancewriteredenzdream on July 5th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
As always, I enjoy and appreciate your reviews. Just yesterday I was in B&N looking for the next great read, thinking..."Crud, I wish I had jonstephen's LJ in front of me...he mentioned a couple that sounded good..."

Alas, I did not. So I was left to my own devices and chose two from Lynch's line. I loved, "INEXCUSABLE" -- so now I;m reading FREEWILL and JUKEBOX.

You'll need to do a "summer reading list" for dummies like me who need it all condensed.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on July 5th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
How was INEXCUSABLE? You said you loved it. Is that all? It's on my short list of books to read. Someone said it reminded them of my WIP, which scares me a little, though I'm not entirely sure why.
dancewriteredenzdream on July 5th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
INEXCUSABLE was fascinating. All about justifying our actions. Uh, not really like your book so no need to worry there, and executed differently.

Highly recommend.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on July 5th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
Good. And good. I don't regard the source of the info as highly trustworthy in regards to Y.A., but it scared me a little anyway. Thanks for plugging in the night light for me. :)
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on July 5th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
Short List of Recommended Summer Reading (In Particular Order)
John Green's LOOKING FOR ALASKA (5 stars)
Adam Rapp’s UNDER THE WOLF, UNDER THE DOG (5 stars)
Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK (5 stars)
Stephen Chbosky’s THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (4.5 stars)
Frank Portman's KING DORK (4.5 stars)
Scott Westerfeld's SO YESTERDAY (5 stars)
Ned Vizzini's IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY (4.5 stars)
Mariah Fredericks’ CRUNCH TIME (4.5 stars)
dancewriteredenzdream on July 5th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Short List of Recommended Summer Reading (In Particular Order)
Excellent. What was that ARC book you read a while back you said was also good?? Is that on here?
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on July 5th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Short List of Recommended Summer Reading (In Particular Order)
The ARC I read a while back was Robyn Schneider's BETTER THAN YESTERDAY (4.5 stars). I didn't include it because it doesn't come out until January. But if you can find it...go right ahead.
Lois Toureenpbwriter on July 5th, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
Sounds very interesting. You just might get me reading YA yet. Thanks for sharing.

(:Lois
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on July 5th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
No YA yet?

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." ~ The Great Bard

:)
queen_of_ocd: desirexdesignqueen_of_ocd on July 5th, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC)
I haven't read this one yet, and I'm not sure why. I'm looking forward to reading it, and it's getting higher on my to-read list, so I should read it soon.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on July 5th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
Let me offer a preemptive, "Wasn't it great?"
mandyhubbardmandyhubbard on July 6th, 2006 12:06 am (UTC)
HEY! My email is being gay and i cant respond beucase the text box where you write the message never appears.... but this book sounds great! It'll go on my too be purchased and read list. :-)
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on July 6th, 2006 12:22 am (UTC)
Enjoy.
crissachappell on July 8th, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC)
I love it too...