Publisher: Pocket Books
Plot: Charlie is a freshman and he's starting out in high school with the hopes of making friends and starting his life. In a roller coaster of events Charlie meets Sam and Patrick and the're group of 'misfit' friends to which he discovers he is their wallflower, the observer who just wants to get in on the action. In a world of friendship, sex, drugs and the Rocky Horror Picture show, Charlie discovers what it truly means to grow up.
Good Points: This book manages to explore so many themes within the storyline and you soon get caught up in Charlie's world which I liked. The narrators voice (Charlie) is strong and clear throughout the book and although his letters aren't daily you still understand what his everyday life is like.
Elements to the book made my smile when I read them and come on! They have an entire magazine devoted to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. If that doesn't spell cool then I don't know what does.
The references to the books at first I was worried about because usually when I've read books that do this before the author usually ends up sounding obnoxious with some obscure Russian poet being quoted or you just get the feeling that they've googled lists of 'books-which-smart-people-read'. In this case however this didn't happen. The books were all one's that you might read at high school or have read already and the author wasn't quoting lines from the book every page but just touching on Charlie's thoughts on them like 'I liked that one' or 'that author was great...' which I proffered.
Alongside Charlie going through loads throughout the book, the read does also, with the moral to the story being be yourself and live to the full I guess. Deep, I know but it is labelled as a coming-of-age book.
Bad Points: Charlie's naivety at times could get a little annoying and his constant crying to prove his characters innocence seemed to do the same. However who can blame him with the amount of stuff he goes through in this book. Talk about drama! This kid seems to have really bad luck...
To Sum Up... I recently went to watch the film adaptation of this book after reading it and I have to admit I think I preferred the film (mainly because they cut a lot of the crying out). However I have to admit I loved the references to books and music within the plot and you certainly get a feel of what Charlie's high school experience is like. Although it was a tiny bit cheesy and dramatic with the whole 'infinite' line going on, as a coming of age drama I thought it worked well despite there being a little too much disaster in his life for it to be even considered plausible. I liked it and I'll probably read it again.