I'm not going to lie, I wanted to read this book because of the movie that's coming out soon starring Emma Watson and Logan Lerman. That sort of makes me feel bad, but it is the truth. But for whatever reason why, I read it, and liked it a lot more than I thought I would. It's not that I just wasn't interested in the book, but probably more due to the fact that on the back, the US Weekly compares it to A Catcher in the Rye which I read this year in school and pretty much hated. That might be because I hate reading books when I'm forced to, and Holden just annoyed the heck out of me. But anyway, enough of that book, on to Perks.
It was kind of interesting to read a novel told by a boy's perspective for once; pretty much every book I read is told from a female's perspective. So that was definitely different for me. I really enjoyed this book. It dealt with real situations, experiences, and such that real teenagers face: first love, drugs, sex, alcohol, dating, family, etc. I felt bad for Charlie because he seemed to be having a rough time with life, especially after his aunt Helen died.
The book is pretty much a year of his life; the start of his freshman year, to the end of that year. In that year's time, he made everlasting friendships and fell in love for the first time. He experimented with drugs, alcohol, and began to smoke. All these things may sound bad, but despite it all, Charlie really was a good guy.
This book is outstanding. I just couldn't stop reading. I wanted to know what would happen next and then after that and then after that. Its a quick read, but it cuts to the soul of the reader. It's so simple to read yet so complex. It addresses several topics and provides insight to each and to life itself. I was torn between 4 and 5 stars because I really liked it, but I wasn't sure if I LOVED it enough. In the end, I obviously gave it 4 Stars; I figured if I hard to think real hard on whether or not I loved this book, than I didn't love it.
I would recommend this book to anyone; especially those just entering their teenage years. I believe if I had read this book 4 years ago when I was starting highschool, it may have had more of an impact on me, but regardless, I enjoyed it. I'm just going to share some quotes below from the novel that I really loved:
“I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won't tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn't change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have.”
“I am very interested and fascinated how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.”
And my personal favorite line from the whole book:
“And I guess I realized at that moment that I really did love her. Because there was nothing to gain, and that didn't matter.”