I might blather on about how I can’t stand to see a movie before I read the book, however I do have to admit that the very fact that a book is being made into a movie sometimes serves as an introduction to the book. In this case, the only reason I knew anything about Perks was because Emma Watson was in the movie (and you know me and my Harry Potter obsession). I have not watched the movie yet, however I did devour the book in three short settings.
It took some time to get into the style of writing. Seemed overly simplistic to me (though not as simplistic as lemony Snicket, of course), but it was done by design. It would seem overly suspicious if Charlie was too profound as a teenager, wouldn’t it? But the very style that first annoyed me, made it easy to read, always a good thing.
Simplistic though the writing may be, it dealt with some heavy issues, especially considering this took place in the early 90s, when things were still being whitewashed for teenagers (largely). Domestic violence, bigotry, molestation. Heavy, heavy stuff. Makes it much more understandable for Charlie to be weepy, even if that did get to me.
I was convinced that Charlie committed suicide in the end of the book, so was shocked at the truth. I suppose there’s nothing saying that he didn’t after the story ended, but it is not written so. I hated the resolution with Charlie’s aunt though, and how he came to recall what happened. it smacks too much of the repressed memory debacle that was unfolding during the 80s and 90s. Whether Chbosky wrote this with that in mind, or whether it was purely coincidental, I don’t know. And I suppose I am viewing this book through the lens of time. Had I read it when I was around Charlie’s age, I might have had a different reaction. it is a very interesting take on the outcast though. He is not Holden Caulfiend, or a rebel per se. he is just trying to fit in, and finds people who accept him for what he is, something we all strive for.