Being not even two weeks out of my academic career, I now find myself facing dozens of new challenges. Where will I find a job? What kind of job should I look for? Where should I live? How will I take care of myself? Will I ever see my friends again?
Oddly enough though, one of my biggest dilemmas is, “How have I not read so many books in my 16 years of schooling?” Maybe it’s just the English degree coming out here (okay, it’s totally the English degree), but I feel like I have missed out on so many great works of writing. How could I have gone through high school and college and not read classic books? I began making a list of just the titles that came to my head, and when I got to the bookstore that list grew even longer. The bibliophile in me wanted to buy all of them, but the unemployed college graduate told me to calm down and just pick a couple to start out. I picked the four cheapest ones (unemployed college graduate was pleased) and took them to the register to check out. The check out clerk asked if it was for summer reading, and I replied, “Sort of.”
The first book I chose to read from my list was Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
I started it last night and I am almost done with it. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do. It’s an epistolary novel (written in a series of letters), which not only makes it a fast read, but allows the reader to get inside the mind of Charlie (the protagonist), since all the letters are from him to an unknown “friend.”
While the main characters are all in high school, the subjects they deal with are far from immature. Sex, drugs, alcohol, abuse, suicide, and abortion are all themes with which the characters struggle, and they are presented with incredible honesty and bluntness. Chbosky doesn’t sugar coat the negative side effects any of these, which makes for compelling characters and narration.
I haven’t finished the book yet (that will most likely happen tonight), but unless the book goes downhill fast, I would say it is definitely a book you should read if you haven’t already.
And as a side note, I thought the movie version that came out last year was pretty good too. The book is better, but then again, it always is.
And as another side note, I am aware that I basically just wrote a book report. Old habits die hard. At least I didn’t use quotes or MLA formatting.