I kind of expected more, but I still really enjoyed it. The characters are well written and the story is slow, but you don't notice.
The format of this book is pretty original. The main character, Charlie, is writing very personal letters to someone he doesn't know. It starts out during the summer break between grade school and high school, and is set in the early 1990's. He tells the person he's writing to that he's writing to them because he knows they are the kind of person who wouldn't sleep with someone at a party just because they could, and because he knows somehow that they will understand him and not judge. He tells the unknown person the details of his life, starting with a story about his closest friend committing suicide. He talks about starting high school and how he is ok with not having any friends, even though he would like to have some. He also talks about his English teacher taking a special interest in him and giving him extra assignments that the other kids don't have. This leads him into talking about his analysis of the books he reads. I love that part of this book. Then he randomly meets 2 people that change his life. This could be just like some cheesy 80's high school movie, but it's not. Sure there is the normal 'boy pines for girl that is waaay out of his league', but there's more, and you might not even realize it until the end. First, there's a bit of mystery about why Charlie is the way he is, but because we can only see things from his point of view it's hard to get a handle on exactly what it is. Then there is the depth of the character. He is complicated, yet easy to understand. We can all relate to the crazy stuff we all did in high school, and how it felt to be in the in-between phase of life. We can also understand the desire to be liked and have friends, while still trying to figure out who we are. But what makes this all together different from any teen book or movie is the end. It is not all wrapped up for you. That is to say, the boy doesn't get the girl and they don't live happily ever after. Or do they? You'll just have to figure that out for yourself.
This book draws you in immediately. The narrator is perfect in his rendition of the story from the first-person perspective, and captured the tone and emotions of the main character Charlie so well. I'm glad I didn't just read it on the page, because now I couldn't imagine wanting anyone else's voice in my head telling this story. The book itself struck me as such an honest and accurate depiction of life as a young teenager, and how important and significant everything seems at the time, at that age. Song lyrics, book choices, friendships, family... It transported me back to the conflicts and constant emotional highs and lows of that age and that time in our lives, which become so easy to forget as an adult. Listening to this book was a romantic and nostalgic experience that made me think both fondly and sympathetically to my own high school days. A touching and beautiful story.
I watched author Stephen Chbosky's film adaptation of his novel first. I felt that, besides the voiceover element which many films use, the movie felt like it played out so naturally and un-book-like. I was anxious to spend more time with these characters and also to see how the movie's revelations were handled.
I quickly got over the fact that the entire novel is told in letters (I was going to use the word epistolary, but thought it sounded too pretentious... And now that I'm pitifully defending my writing style I sound just like this novel's narrator, Charlie), and was wrapped up in the fascinating point of view of this high school freshman.
It has to be said that, while the book is really a wonderful story, Noah Galvin turns it into something far more engaging and appealing with superb performance. He really embodies the character of Charlie and gives humor and depth to his neurotic and adolescent fears. He does something that I particularly love: As Charlie, he manages to perform the other character's dialogue with a sort of sarcasm that seems very true to his personality while at the same time the voices really resonate as being accurate to the people he is imitating.
Overall, this is a really terrific coming of age story. The nice thing is that the author was able to take this tale of his and turn it into an equally charming movie. Enjoy both!
This was a sad and confusing tale of a young boy experiencing his first year in high school after the death of his friend. High school is already an intimidating place, but to face it alone is another story. I enjoyed the chances Charlie took, his experimental side, his loyalty, and his honesty (in his retelling of the stories). I loved how Patrick and Sam took him under their wing, albeit they may not have been the best of influences, they were good to him.
Charlie was an extremely sensitive guy and somewhat intuit. However, I felt that he cried an awful lot, but the fact that his friends didn't seem to mind made me a little envious of their unbridled acceptance of him.
My personal high school experience was completely different, and on another level, much more innocent. I couldn't imagine being faced with some of the situations Charlie, Sam, and Patrick had. In the end when they explained some of Charlie's "craziness" , I was blown away and everything seemed to make sense all of a sudden. This was definitely a haunting tale of growing up, but I think it hit the mark on the head.
I loved the narrator. Noah Galvin was amazing and made the book so funny yet left me wanting to cry at the same time.
This is the first one I listened too,
No I had to keep pausing it but I cant wait to listen to it again
Coming of age story set in U.S. high school of the early 1990s about a sensitive boy who cries all the time and finds himself friends with hard partiers. Thoroughly loved it while I was reading it. In hindsight, maybe it wasn't as strong. I could see some people complaining about cliche parts but, damn, high school is a cliche. Awesome narration. (I'm a white male in my late 40s.)
I am a mother, a wife, but also a teacher of English. I prefer to listen to audible while driving to work.
This story is understandable, as I teach high school and experience students just like the ones in Chbosky's work.
Chbosky's use of allusions to pop culture are compelling and work at bridging a generation gap that needs to be unified.
i love its story and the voice is clear enough and i think the voice matches with the story line
obviously Charlie! because Charlie is different from any other characters and teenagers. he has something special. i love his innocence and his transformation along with the story. i could feel he is growing up with the story goes on.
every character. He has such a talent!! his story telling is amazing. Clear enough, and I picks the main point of each character so that i can follow the story without any confusions
I bought this book not knowing anything about it, but just having heard that it was good. At first it seemed really young to me — the narrator is 14 and very naive — but as it went on, I realized that some of the themes, such as sexual assault, were more mature than I'd expected. The author handled them well and handled the expression of teenage psyches well too.
I HATED the ending given what I know about how memory works — it rang really, really false to me. Criminally so. But I suppose the book is a product of its time ... and there's not a lot else I can say without spoilers, though I wish I could get into it here.
Overall, I thought this was a really good book, especially for a high school novel. I wish I'd found it when I was in high school.