Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Part II

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And I have returned once again from the land of sleep and mono for another installment! Rejoice! Anyhow, here we go:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Part II:

- In many ways, I think there's a little bit of Charlie in all of us. Now, I'm not one for trashy magazines about celebrity lives, even though I do enjoy the occasional photograph of Robert Pattinson (really, c'mon who can blame me? The man is gorgeous), but a part of me used to feel that I would do what the below quote says if posed with the same situation (I know now that I would actually act professional because, well, I'd want to keep my job. haha) :

I think I would be a very bad reporter because I can't imagine sitting across the table from a politician or a movie star and asking them questions. I think I would probably just ask for their autograph for my mom or something.
- A few quotes in reference to Sam:
To tell you the truth, I love Sam. It's not a movie kind of love either. I just look at her sometimes, and I think she is the prettiest and nicest person in the whole world. She is also very smart and fun.
It's like he would take a photograph of Sam, and the photograph would be beautiful. And he would think that the reason the photograph was beautiful was because of how he took it. If I took it, I would know that the only reason it's beautiful is because of Sam. I just think it's bad when a boy looks at a girl and thinks that the way he sees the girl is better than the girl actually is.
I am really in love with Sam, and it hurts very much.

Perfection. The way Chbosky describes first love is beautiful and devastating. Sometimes love is simultaneously wonderful and painful and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. I also really love when Charlie talks about Craig, Sam's boyfriend, taking a picture of Sam. It pulls at my heart strings when Charlie writes "I would know that the only reason it's beautiful is because of Sam." Sigh. First love - so pure and honest. There's nothing like it in the world.

- Reason to live for:
I love Twinkies, and the reason I am saying this is because we are all supposed to think of reasons to live.
I agree. Twinkies be greatness! haha

- Sometimes Charlie has some really interesting observations:
Anyway, what the scientists found out was that the rat or mouse would put up with a lot more voltage for the pleasure. Even more than for the food. I don't know the significance of this, but I think it very interesting.

How true. How many times in our lives do we put up with terrible situations just to receive even the smallest bit gratification? How many of us deal with a terrible job, but once that bonus for work well done comes in, we yet again find ourselves willing to put up with the mean boss and the monotony? How many of us continue to put up with bad relationships because we love the person and well, who can resist that smile or that kiss? As a people watcher, I find it all very interesting. It's like we are all secret masochists in a world that denounces masochism.

- The best kind of love:
Personally, I like to think my brother is having a college experience like they do in the movies. I don't mean the big fraternity party kind of movie. More like the movie where the guy meets a smart girl who wears lots of sweaters and drinks cocoa. They talk about books and issues and kiss in the rain. I think something like that would be very good for him, especially if the girl were unconventionally beautiful. They are the best kind of girls, I think. I personally find "super models" strange. I don't know why this is.
Don't we all wish it were like that? I do.

- About living in the moment and recalling it in the future:
I always wanted to be on a sports team like that. I'm not exactly sure why, but I always thought it would be fun to have "glory days." Then, I would have stories to tell my children and golf buddies. I guess I could tell people about Punk Rocky and walking home from school and things like that. Maybe these are my glory days, and I'm not even realizing it because they don't involve a ball.
I just hope I remember to tell my kids that they are as happy as I look in my old photographs. And I hope they believe me.

- Another favorite quote of mine in the book:
First, I am very interested and fascinated by how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other. Second, the fights are always the same.
So so so so so true. You can love someone with all your heart, but still not like the person they are. I've also noticed that once you get into a habit of fighting about a specific thing with someone, it is exactly the same fight every time with just some rewording involved.
When we were all getting ready to leave, I walked up to my grandfather and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. He wiped my lip print off with his palm and gave me a look. He doesn't like the boys in the family to touch him. But I'm very glad that I did it anyway in case he dies. I never got to do that with my Aunt Helen.
When I was little, my mom used to always tell me never to leave anywhere without giving a hug to those you love and to never hang up the phone without saying I love you. You just don't know if you'll ever see or hear from that person again. Life is too short to waste one solitary minute. So, I really love that Charlie gives his grandfather a kiss just in case. I think it's very sweet.

- For Christmas, Charlie makes Patrick a mix tape and hopes "it's the kind of second side that he can listen to whenever he drives alone and feel like he belongs to something whenever he's sad. I hope it can be that for him." I present to you, Charlie's mixtape:

- Also for Christmas, this is what Charlie did for Sam:
Last came Sam. I had been thinking about this present for a long time. I think about this present from the first time I really saw her. Not met her or saw her but the first time I really saw her if you know what I mean. There was a card attached.

Inside the card, I told Sam that the present I gave her was given to me by my Aunt Helen. It was an old 45 record that had the Beatles' song "Something." I used to listen to it all the time when I was little and thinking about grown-up things. I would go to my bedroom window and stare at my reflection in the glass and the trees behind it and just listen to the song for hours. I decided them that when I met someone I thought was a beautiful as the song. I should give it to that person. And I didn't mean beautiful on the outside. I meant beautiful in all ways. So, I was giving it to Sam.

Sam looked at me soft. And she hugged me. And I closed my eyes because I wanted to know nothing but her arms. And she kissed my cheek and whispered so nobody could hear. "I love you."
-The kiss:
And she kissed me. It was the kind of kiss that I could never tell my friends about out loud. It was the kind of kiss that made me know that I was never so happy in my whole life.
Charlie later describes it as being peaceful and right. Those really are the best kinds of kisses.

- Now, if you've read the book, you know that the poem Charlie reads is very significant. So, I've given it to you all in three different ways. A video, an image (click to enlarge), or you can read it in prose. You choose your favorite.

Click here to watch!

Untitled Poem, click here for prose in full.

- Things start to get bad for Charlie by the end of Part II, but it also brings forth some really amazing quotes about being depressed and lonely beyond repair. Here they are:
But now I'm trying not to think about it too much because that makes it worse. It's kind of like when you look at yourself in the mirror and you say your name. And it gets to a point where none of it seems real.
I don't know if you've ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that.

- The last letter in Part II is probably one of my favorite letters, purely because I think it talks about a lot of different aspects of life and I think it's beautiful in all it's sadness. For example:
So, I looked up and we were in this giant dome like a glass snowball, and Mark said that the amazing white stars were really only holes in the black glass of the dome, and when you went to heaven, the glass broke away, and there was nothing but a whole sheet of star white, which is brighter than anything but doesn't hurt your eyes. It was vast and open and thinly quiet, and I felt so small.

Sometimes, I look outside, and I think that a lot of other people have seen this snow before. Just like I think that a lot of other people have read those books before. And listened to those songs.
I wonder how they feel tonight.
I guess what I'm saying is that this all feels very familiar. But it's not mine to be familiar about. I just know that another kid had felt this. This one time when it's peaceful outside, and you're seeing things move, and you don't want to, and everyone is asleep. And all the books you've read have been read by other people. And all the songs you've loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that's pretty to you is pretty to other people. And you know that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing "unity."
It's like when you are excited about a girl and you see a couple holding hands, and you feel so happy for them. And other times you see the same couple, and they make you so mad. And all you want is to always feel happy for them because you know that if you do, then it means you're happy, too.

Thus, the conclusion of Part II. Check back soon for another update!

  1. Those quotes are so undeniably painful and simultaneously undeniably beautiful (which makes it genius). Thanks for opening me up to this book; it's getting a top spot on my "To Read" list.

    Posted on September 25, 2008 at 8:37 AM

  2. Anonymous Said,

    i believe everyone has a little charlie in them and perks made me feel more open to that part of me then i ever thought was possible
    perks is so elequently written that it makes me believe in innocence and honesty and love

    Posted on March 11, 2010 at 6:57 PM


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