I have been wanting to read this book for months not because it’s about to come out in a movie but because of the good reviews it has been getting from other readers. And so far, I liked the book much and have read it in one sitting. Yes, that was how good it was. Plus it only has 213 pages so it was a short read in the first place.
Set in the early 90’s, the book is about Charlie’s life in highschool, his struggles, his self discovery on life, love, sexuality and drugs. Charlie, the letter sender and protagonist of the novel, was an introvert who retreats into solitude after learning the death of his favorite Aunt Helen and eventually his very close friend Michael. The loss of the people he valued the most made a drastic impact in his life. He had a hard time coping and was suffering from emotional imbalance every now and then (he cries a lot). The story revolves mostly in his first year in highschool as he meets new people and friends while struggling to “participate” in life and reality.
Here are some of the things I want to share about what I learned in the book:
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Of course, being a novel about a highschool, the story would never be complete without the topic about love. It’s pretty ordinary, liking a friend and getting friend-zoned. Struggling to look for love, eventually getting it and making stupid mistakes and picking yourself up again.
What bothered me the most was when Charlie’s sister got impregnated by her boyfriend. They kept it a secret among themselves and his sister, who was too scared of what was going to happen, decided to get an abortion. The thought of having an abortion because of unwanted pregnancy just doesn’t suit well with me.
“And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have. Good and bad.” – The thought of someone else has it much worse than you do was almost always mentioned in the story. Yes, it is true that whatever bad things you are going through at the moment, you always have to be thankful because someone else has it much worse than you do. It makes one think of the brighter side of life. That you always have to consider yourself lucky enough to be experiencing things you know you can surpass and having a sob story is no excuse to just cry in the corner, you have to move on.
On Being a Wallflower
“Sometimes people use thought to not participate in life.” – Some people just don’t have the knack in being sociable. And sometimes, because of their timidity, they get labeled as wallflowers.
Sometimes, I do feel like a wallflower. There are times that I am lost in my thoughts and become inattentive of what is happening around me. It is somewhat true that people use “thought” to not participate ( I do that sometimes) but not to the point of missing out on life per se, just moments in life.
“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”