This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.
So two of my really good friends suggested this book to me, and considering that they both having amazing tastes in books, I thought, why not? And I'm so glad they suggested it to me, because I absolutely loved it.
At first, I wasn't too keen on how the book would be set - that it was told through letters, where the main character, Charlie, was not actually called Charlie. So I felt that I wouldn't be able to get close to any of the characters, because although it was their story, it wasn't their names - but my misgivings were false. I got attached to practically all of the characters - especially Charlie, Sam and Patrick. The way Chbosky presented each of them was brilliant - because they were so individually different, yet they were all together; Charlie was naive and insightful; Sam was outgoing and reckless; Patrick was caring and loving. And I couldn't help but wish they were all real - as if this doesn't happen ever time I read a book. But I think what made this different from a lot of other books was how realistic Chbosky made the characters and the storyline. No one was unrealistic - you can just imagine there being someone exactly like Charlie, or Sam, or Patrick, or Bob, or Mary Elizabeth is out there. Which just makes it so much more readable - and rereadable.
Another really great thing about this novel is how simple it is. Yes, it is insightful, and it does talk about a lot of powerful and contraversial issues - but it's just told in such an easy and laid-back way that it isn't too heavy-going, yet it gets the point across. And admittedly, because certain bits weren't told in such a blunt, to-the-point way, it did take me a while to fully understand what was happening - but I got it after a while, and as you read on, you just become in-tune with the novel.
Even though I loved it, I know this book isn't for everyone. If you love authors like John Green, David Levithan and Julie Anne Peters, I reckon you'll really enjoy this novel, so I emplore you to try it! You won't regret it - hopefully.