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.
It's hard not to like or relate to Charlie. He is a smart freshman that is, like most of us were, thrown into the overwhelming world of high school. Drugs, Sex, and Music. As with most smart kids he spends too much time in his head and not enough time living. Watching Charlie grown through this book is a treat. The only problem I have with this book is the ending, just not sure I liked it (It wasn't predictable like many of these types of books are, but it also was kind of just....eh). That aside, the narration is one of the best I've heard on audible. The narrator brings this book to life and helps you identify and feel for Charlie. It's worth a listen.
This was a well written story about a young man and how much easier it is to pretend tragedy hasn't touch him rather than face the truth, although it is rarely the right thing to do.
I really enjoyed not being able to predict this story.
My favorite scene was when Charlie, Patrick, and Sam are in the vehicle driving under the bridge...I remember that feeling as a teenager...being "infinite".
I think I would take Sam out to dinner since I have had many friends like her before and we would probably have a great time.
It's perfectly perfect and heartwarming
I liked them all for different reasons
It just brought me back to HS
I considered abandoning the book about a third of the way through. I didn't see where it was going, and I didn't like the format (the narrator writes you letters). The story took a long time to get going.
I wouldn't. Even though it took place during the time I went to high school and referenced bands and songs that I loved - even though I really wanted to love this book about a quirky high school kid who doesn't fit in - I really struggled with it.
I couldn't stand most of the characters.
He seemed a little disaffected to me.
I did see the movie, when I was just over halfway through the audiobook. It made me dislike the characters even more, although it showed me that the story was going to start getting a little more interesting if I just hung in there.
I started out by watching the movie. It was impressively done with stellar performances by the entire cast. So, of course, I knew I had to read or listen to the book. At first I didn't think I was going to like it, because the entire story is told to you by Charlie as he writes letters to "Dear Friend", which happens to be all of us who go on this journey. But I was greatly surprised that this method of writing made it more personal for me as if Charlie was writing the letters directly to me. It was a one-on-one with this boy who has seen and experienced all the wonderful, and bad, things about high school.
I don't give out five stars very often, but this audiobook certainly deserved every one of them.
By the way, Patrick is a hoot in the book and the movie.
These characters reminded me of so many friends I've lost touch with since my school days. This book brought them all back, if only for a brief time.
Never trust anyone who doesn't enjoy reading.
Must. Read. Now.
Charlie, of course!
He was superb! I can't imagine anyone narrating this any better.
I'm a APP. PROFESSIONAL and love it!! I have over 100 books in my library and not stoping any time soon!! Thanks audible!!
Great short story,if you've seen the movie then you need to read the book.This is a story that will take you back to high school then throw you for a loop at the end!! If I had to pick I would watch the movie!!! Watch it you can't go wrong...