The Perks of Being a Wallflower

53 Books That Will Definitely Make You Cry: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I read an article from Buzzfeed last September about books that can make you cry and the skeptic in me (who has had enough of unreliable listicles) wanted proof that it’s true! The first in the list is this book which I stayed away from for a long time because it became popular among the same group of people I know who adored the Twilight series. There’s a thing I live by: don’t trust book recommendations from anyone who actually believes that Stephenie Meyer is the best author ever. I was discussing doing this challenge with my brother, and he voiced out that TPOBAW really is a sad book. Challenge accepted.

SUMMARY

Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix 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. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

MY TWO CENTS

Yes, it is a sad book. Not enough to bring me to tears and seriously, WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT TWIST COME FROM? It’s like KA-BAM! here’s a plot twist for you to absorb in the last 10 pages of the book (not sure about the page count, I didn’t count though). To be completely honest, I feel like I could relate to him in a sense where I find it hard to make friends (the kind of friends that stick, I have no problem making acquaintances). And there were his moments of disconnect that is seriously a reflection of all the times I lived life like it’s just one stressful dream. But other than that, no tears came out.

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

RATING SYSTEM: (1 – I’m walking on sunshine, 5 – Give me some sweets to cheer me up!, 10 – I’m wearing sunglasses because of the sun and not because I cried my self to sleep *sniff sniff*)

TEARS: 5/10

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

This is not a book review.

I need new books. I tell myself as I hesitantly opened Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up. It was one o’clock in the morning, and I found myself with the conscious need to sleep but sleep eludes me. My usual remedy would be to read until I have a hard time keeping my eyes open. I have already re-read all the books on my shelf (not that rereading is new to me) except for this one, and yet I can’t bring myself to do so.

Sure, the book in itself is neither mind blowing nor life changing. It’s the usual boy meets girl, they have a blissful relationship which predictably ends on a sour (or a bitter one?) note kind of story. The title itself is a giveaway, but it’s the journey of how they got to the end, and of course, the ending is the start of a new beginning.

Who says you cannot box up and throw out the parts of your life that you wish to forget? Written with a first person point of view, if you have ever been dumped (or have been in a relationship that miserably failed), you’ll find it quite easy to immerse yourself in the story as Min (short for Minerva, her father named her) goes through all the memories of her and Ed’s time together via the “souvenirs” she kept throughout the relationship and relives all the telltale signs (the things you found charming is the things you eventually hate) that lead to the break up.

She gave it back because those trinkets were associated with memories, feelings, and to Ed. Like Min, my memory works well with an association. When I was still a student, I watch television or listen to music while studying, it helps me remember more. Up until now, I remember a specific math problem I was trying to solve while eating nori crackers whenever I chance upon How I Met Your Mother’s Arrivederci Fiero episode. Every time I read Da Vinci Code, I remember how I was in third-year high school when I bought it and I felt like I had no friends left. I got Memoirs of a Geisha for Christmas and I remember how I spent the day after Christmas cooped up in my room to read it. And.. you get the picture.

You either have the feeling or you don’t.

C and I were this close to breaking up, our fights never last to a week, until we hit the roughest patch our relationship had ever been through. It lasted for nearly two months. During that time, I sought consolation in books and I guess this is why this book beckoned me to buy it. I’m a huge fan of Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler, and I would have been a fan of Why We Broke Up too if only I had not bought it when it was almost relevant to my situation.

Oh, and by the way, I did finish rereading it. All the apprehension was gone, and I don’t feel as emotional than the first time I did. However, I probably would always go back to that memory whenever I read this book (and I still would want to punch Ed hard enough to break his nose).

Am I the only one? Do you go back to a time in your life, feel what you felt, whenever you read books you devoured during that experience?

Coraline

I haven’t been updating this blog the way I used to. School got in the way, and as a graduating student (yes, I will graduate), my dissertation comes before anything else. We had to extend for one more term just to finish our thesis, and I do not plan on staying at the university longer than that.

June, I can’t wait.

And, oh, I just had to say that I can’t believe Coraline is supposedly a children’s book. *SPOILER ALERT* It should be for parents so they’d attend to their child more unless they want their child’s eyes replaced with big black buttons. I read this before I went to sleep and I had a nightmare wherein I was being chased by someone who plans on sewing my eyes shut. Although, I have to admit a lot of so-called children’s books does have dark themes (ie Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events with its moral relativism, Harry Potter etc) and caters to an older age group. I guess with Coraline, it is about getting what you wish for and realizing that it isn’t what you need after all.

Thinking about it, I feel kind of conflicted about letting kids read/listen to stories like this. My thoughts go from would I want an innocent childhood for my child wherein he/she grows up an idealist or do I let him/her face the reality that he/she will not always get what they want and not every day is going to be a sunny day to make them stronger?

The effects of not having any sleep.

Good night. 🙂

Why We Broke Up + Coraline

Today have been the first tough day for me this year, for reasons I will not disclose here. I watched 100 (a Cinemalaya film, starring Mylene Dizon and Eugene Domingo) and used it as an excuse to start crying my heart out, although the plan backfired since some people watched the movie with me. I had to contain my tears until they finally left to grab some lunch, then I went to a toilet cubicle and bawled my eyes out. Crying at home might have been much more convenient, only if my family was not there wonder what might have caused it.

I went to National Bookstore afterward and decided to actually purchase a book, instead of roaming around without buying anything as usual. Books make me happy. They take me back even if I rejected and neglected them for so long. They welcome me back and inside the world in between its pages, allowing me to temporarily escape the world I actually am in.

Neil Gaiman’s Coraline was on my To Buy list for 2012, along with The Sandman. However, I can’t afford all 10 volumes right now (I prefer on buying all of it at once). Unfortunately, it kept calling me and while at the customer service (I had to ask for assistance in locating Coraline), one of the staff was wrapping one of the five volumes of The Absolute Sandman right in front of me. I was torn with regard to asking if I could just take a peek at one of its’ glossy pages (or smell it even, but that would be too weird even though I find the unique smell of new books calming) since I might get rejected (oh, the fear of rejection). If only it wouldn’t cost me around Php 16,000/356 USD for those five volumes (the 10 volumes of The Sandman will cost me Php 4,000/89 USD), I would buy it in a heartbeat. The Lord of the Rings together with The Hobbit was in some kind of a promo wherein buying the four books/two novels together costs cheaper than buying it separately. Unfortunately for me, I only have a single thousand peso bill in my wallet, and the price tag says Php 1175.

National Bookstore, why u make me confused?

Apart from Coraline, I was drawn to a sealed copy of Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up, sitting partially hidden in one of National Bookstore’s display shelves. It was tightly wrapped in plastic but I could tell that the pages were glossy and it had illustrations inside (and the cover confirmed that). I really wasn’t planning on buying more than one book since I’m saving up, however, the book just seemed to scream “buy me! Take me home, and read me while you lie on your bed!”, so I added it to my purchase at the last minute simply to make the book’s imaginary voice shut up.

Oh yeah, I definitely am crazy at times.