I enjoyed reading this. I enjoyed reading it in a way similar to watching CSI though. It isn't quite stupid, but something about it makes me very angry. It took me a minute to realize what that is, but I've found it.
This is another adolescent growing up and all that crap book (like Catcher in the Rye). That's okay, nothing wrong with that, but something seemed to be... off. I realized what it was and it reminded me of a show I used to watch that was just like this. The show was called Boston Public and it was about a high school where virtually every drama that could possibly happen to a high school did happen. That is this book. Every idea that has ever been focused on in the high school experience was put into this novel, and I really mean every one. Gay kid? Misfit kid? Quiet kid? Slut kid? Raped kid? Abused kid? Suicide kid? Molested kid? Jock kid? Drug-addicted kid? Alcoholic kid? Misunderstood-but-great-when-you-get-to-know-him-kid? Dealing with death kid? Crazy kid? Violent kid? Okay, I think you get my point. Every big episode of Degrassi or Wonder Years or take your pick of any high school series was in here. The music of youth, the drugs and the adventure, all there. I suppose that isn't intrinsically bad, but I feel a little cheated. So much of this content had already saturated the high school drama story that I really don't think Chbosky had to try hard, he just had to dip into the stocked-full bag of characters, dilemmas, and growing pains. Maybe if the novel didn't have ALL of the elements I wouldn't have noticed, but it did, and when you paused to think about it, you realized it must be about the most F***ed up peoples high school experience (because they managed to experience them all), or it was probably just a cop-out to make drama. That took away from the drama of it.
One other thing that bothered me. These characters, almost all of them, were such goddamn wieners. They all acted like idiots. I couldn't help but find myself looking down on them because they made such blatantly stupid mistakes or were so blatantly blind. I was an idiot in middle school, but by the time I was a senior I wasn't half as stupid as the characters in this novel (not talking about Charlie). Even Charlie was... well, he was kind of a pussy. I get that high school is a growing experience, but nearly every character, and I mean every character, by the end of the novel has learned remarkably from their journey through self-discovery and is the better for it. Okay. Right. That isn't my experience. The people that were retarded and made terrible mistakes in high school pretty much continued to do the same thing the rest of their lives, or at least the next several years.
Also Charlie was kind of like a robot. I don't know why his prose was so monotone. It was like Curious Incident of the Dog except we knew why that kid was monotone; he was autistic. I don't quite think that's what Chbosky was going for.
Still entertaining, even if I was pissed most of the book.