The Perks Of Being A Wallflower was June’s book for discussion and one in which I think we all reached the same conclusion! We all finished the book, but I think this was more due to the shortness of it, than wanting to get to the end! All the book club members were quite surprised to find out that this book was never intended for adolescents, but because of the nature of the topic, it became a book that adolescents read. As adults, I think we all agreed that there wasn’t anything we gained from reading this, in fact we wondered if any teenager would consider this a good read and concluded it may be better suited to pre-teen, but as this book highlighted recreational drug use, would you want your child to read this?
We found the book incredibly depressing and full of clichés. I personally found it quite insulting that this book was deemed as the modern-day version of ‘The Catcher In The Rye’, especially the fact that you couldn’t feel any compassion for any of the characters. In particular, Charlie, the lead character was incredibly immature demonstrated with his incessant crying and the fact he caught his sibling having sex on the sofa but wasn’t sure what was going on? When it was revealed that he had suffered abuse from a relative, which he had forgotten, until it was triggered off, it just didn’t feel as traumatic as it should have done.
Charlie’s relationships with the other characters was also a little strange. Sam and Patrick had decided to befriend him at a football match, which gave you the impression that they were trying to groom him. His relationship with his teacher as well was also a little strange – would a pupil really go to a teacher’s house for a seemingly innocent meal?
Charlie’s behaviour at times, led us to think that he may also have mental health issues such as Aspergers or some form of autism but he and all the other characters where ones in which we couldn’t form any sort of attachment to and in the end I think this and the fact that the story didn’t seem to go anywhere brought us to the conclusion that this book was better off forgotten!