I have talked about this book in quite a few blog posts before and recommended it at every possible opportunity, but I have realised that I have never given it it’s own post for me to gush about it. So, here I am today, doing everything in my power to try and persuade you to read this beautiful book.
This blog post will be spoiler free but I will be talking about themes and quotes, so if you want to go into this book knowing nothing, here are a few reasons why you should read it.
- It’s a banned book. Rebel.
- The friendship.
- The acceptance.
- The growth.
- The writing, it’s beautiful.
- It’s relatability (you will connect with at least one character.)
- So you can watch the movie after, which is just as good and has Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and Emma Watson.
When I first read this book I had borrowed it from a German foreign exchange student when I was 16 and I’ll admit, I didn’t completely get it. However this happens with most of my most loved ‘things.’ I start of thinking it’s ‘meh’ but there’s something about it that makes me want to give it another go and when I do something happens that didn’t happen the first time, I connect with it.
Charlie is such a special main character. He is wallflower, he notices everything and being a teenager surrounded by difficult and complex situations that can be very overwhelming. He’s an overthinker, and the only person he confesses his thoughts to is his friend (the reader.)
I love his love for books. All of use love a main character who shares our interests, and I think it’s safe to say we all have a shared interest in books. Reading is a big part of Charlies growth:
“I have finished To Kill a Mockingbird. It is now my favourite book of all time, but then again, I always think that until I read another book.”
The Music. This is the perfect moment to mention the movie (which I also love with all my heart.) Perks features ‘old’ music (pre 1990’s) which I never listened to before Perks. The movies soundtrack opened me up to a whole new era of music I never thought I could love. Now I listen to The Smiths, David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac. The Samples are even my alarm song to wake me up in the morning.
“And I thought how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through bad times because of those songs. And how many people have enjoyed good times with these songs. And how much these songs really mean.”
Here’s my Perks playlist: Spotify
The sub-plots are gifts. This book explores a lot of issues a teenager could experience through not just the main character Charlie but through the secondary characters as well. None of the characters are straight-forward, one dimensional, or perfect. Each of their stories needed to be told.
I love the entirety of this book, but there are small quotes in this book that give it moments of genius. Quotes that I have to read twice to let soak in, quotes that I love so much I have them hanging on my wall in my bedroom. So I will leave you with some of my favourites:
“Sometimes people use thought to not participate in life”
“Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent”
“We accept the love we think we deserve”
“And all those little kids are going to do the same things we do. And they will kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be nice if sledding were always enough, but it isn’t.”
“Even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from here.”
And the most famous of the book:
.“And in that moment, I swear…”
Thanks for reading