You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Book Group: Book Discussions > August read: The Perks of Being a Wallflower ~ discussion lead by Amber

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message 51: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 63 comments I wondered about "Asleep" also, why it was such a special song to Charlie. My son has told me "Mom, The Smiths were our Beatles", so maybe it was just added because Chbosky thought a lot of teens would get the reference.


message 52: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (wheatabix) | 22 comments Amber wrote: "Let's suppose a high school aged person is struggling with their sexuality and reads this book. What kind of a message do you think it would send to them? This book was published in 1999; do you ..."

I don't know about kids struggling with their sexuality, but I have had a number of students (I teach high school) tell me how much they loved this book and how much they wanted me to read it. It definitely still resonates with high school students today.


message 53: by Amber (new)

Amber | 589 comments WHY?! Ugh. It has to be that place in a person's life. I know I wasn't an outcast like Charlie was, but I think I probably would've been able to understand his feelings of not fitting in, emotional turmoil, "loving" someone who doesn't feel the same about you and attempting to transition into adulthood. I really wish I knew a high school-aged kid I could coerce into reading this book, but all I can come up with are elementary school-aged kids, and they are definitely not the right group to hand this book off to! I have a goal for the week.

Ok, now for the songs. . .
First, here's a taste of the lyrics of Asleep: Don't try to wake me in the morning because I will be gone/Don't feel bad for me I want you to know deep in the cell of my heart I will be glad to go/Sing me to sleep Sing me to sleep I don't want to wake up on my own anymore

Sorry, I didn't break the lines up correctly, just by stanza. The Smiths were big in the 80s. Perhaps this song in particular resonated with the author ("semi-autobiographical") and that's why he felt it was a good one to link to Charlie? Or perhaps he just thought it was a great song to help express Charlie's depressed state of mind.

After listening to blurbs from most of the songs on this list, I feel depressed and downtrodden... I started by simply looking up lyrics and they all have a similar sad, depressed, out of luck, love lost type of message in the lines. Then I took the time to listen to a sampling of some of them and they sounded very similar as well; slow, melancholy, quiet, morose. I'd definitely say that Chbosky did a great job of creating a playlist to help the reader get a better glimpse of Charlie's emotions. Random aside: do you think the movie soundtrack will include any of these songs? I definitely expect Asleep to be on it, but I wonder if they'll work the rest of the songs into the movie or if they'll be limited to the mix-tape scenes. I think it'd be interesting to hear the music and lyrics playing during the parts of the story they are most related to.

This all leads me to believe that a person familiar with the literature mentioned in the book would probably find similarities between either characters or messages in the books and Charlie/his life. Probably the most notable, in my opinion, is the similarity between Charlie and Holden Caulfield.


message 54: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 5743 comments Random aside: do you think the movie soundtrack will include any of these songs? I definitely expect Asleep to be on it, but I wonder if they'll work the rest of the songs into the movie or if they'll be limited to the mix-tape scenes. I think it'd be interesting to hear the music and lyrics playing during the parts of the story they are most related to.

To give the story its due, I would hope so. Matching the books and music to this story was one of the better points of the book.


message 55: by Brian (new)

Brian Wilson (BrianW105) | 4 comments Judy, thanks for inviting me to the group. I had coincidentally just gotten through reading this book and posted my review on it as I do when I am through reading any book that I read. I finished this a couple days ago, but it still is resonating with me and I do not like that its doing that if you can understand what I mean. I have never had an experience where a book that put me in such a depressive and miserable state of mind, leaves such a lasting impact that I feel will continue on. Since it is on topic, I will copy my review. Thanks again for the invite Judy, this looks like a wonderful group!

WOW! I do not even know where to start with this one, and I need to explain my rating. I have such strong and negative feelings toward this book, but I could not stop reading it. I was so incredibly and miserably depressed while reading it, that I was barely able to get through my work day today because I started reading it last night and had to continue through today simply because I could not put it down. I cannot explain how strongly I felt with this book and how I truly became depressed over it because its words and its concept just hit me so damn hard that I can do nothing else but give it a 5 star rating because to me, that is a books purpose...to hit you so hard in such a way that it leaves you thinking about it, or feeling raw emotions about it long after you are done, and to me a 5 star book can still be negative and does not to always be a positive one. For something to leave this much of an impact on a person can only draw a high rating, because trust me, I have read some God awful books that just plain sucked, yet I would never consider giving it a high rating for the sheer fact that I felt absolutely nothing emotionally about it when through. I just feel that this book, in its misery, had me feeling so much and drew me back to the days when I was coming up and feeling raw emotions and found me struggling through life to figure out who I was and what this world was all about. I still have not figured this shit out at age 30, but it just doesnt consume me or make me think about it as much as it did when I was younger. I know many people will take very different take aways from this story, and it is odd because not one thing that happened to Charlie had ever happened to me per se, but just certain entries in the story drew me back to a time in my own life where I felt what he was feeling, and it was such a strong hold that I just cannot stop talking about it, because I do not feel that a book has ever taken such a hold on me. Usually I feel terrific after reading a really great book and I am euphoric and elated over what I had a chance to read, but I have NEVER got done reading a book in such a depression such as this, and that scared the shit out of me, but he also accomplished what he set out to do, and for that, it deserves more stars than I can vote on


message 56: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (JaMaSc) | 13649 comments Welcome to the group, Brian!

You've made some interesting points on the impact a book can have on a person. I think that in some ways a negative impact can inspire a person to contemplate more about the nature of the issues contained in the book and how they relate to our own experiences.


message 57: by Judy (last edited Aug 24, 2011 06:18AM) (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 5743 comments Your welcome, Brian. I hope you will join us in reading The Tenderness of Wolves, our September read. Love your enthusiasm!

Its interesting how The Perks of Being a Wallflower was able to resonate with you so strongly even though it was written decades ago. It validates Sarah's point about the book still resonating with her high school students. Thank you for posting, it was good to have a pro-vote for the book added to our discussion, since so many of us didn't care for it.


message 58: by Amber (new)

Amber | 589 comments Brian, I am jealous of your relationship with this book! And I don't mean that I'm jealous it left you feeling so down, but that it impacted you as much as it did. That is what I had been hoping for when I started reading it, but experienced quite the opposite reaction. And as I read your line "...to hit you so hard in such a way that it leaves you thinking about it, or feeling raw emotions about it long after you are done" I realized that this book had such a small impact on me that I had completely forgotten about it already. But I do agree with you, that whether it be a positive or a negative impact, to have a book linger in your mind long after you've finished it and put it back on the shelf is a fantastic accomplishment by the author and a great find for the reader.

Welcome to the group!


message 59: by Jess (new)

Jess (jhenze44) | 2 comments Amber wrote: "Let's suppose a high school aged person is struggling with their sexuality and reads this book. What kind of a message do you think it would send to them? This book was published in 1999; do you ..."

I don't think that there is enough from Brad's perspective. Patrick didn't question anything, he knew, he was out, and aside from Brad's outburst in the cafeteria, there was no evidence of bullying that took place. If there was more information from Brad's perspective, I think it would have more pull for a person who is questioning his/her sexual identity. I don't know if the year that it was published has anything to do with if it is still applicable. It seems like being GLTB is a little more accepted today, but that doesn't make the internal struggle any less painful.


message 60: by Amber (new)

Amber | 589 comments I think it would've added more depth to the story had we learned more from/about Brad.

I'd like to throw out another random frustration with the book: the way Charlie broke it to Sam (I think that was her name), by kissing the other girl (who's name I absolutely cannot remember) during whatever game they were playing. I realize that kind of thing happens all the time, but, despite my dislike for Charlie, I was pretty disappointed with his choice of 'response' to his dare (were they playing truth or dare?). Anyway. . . I was expecting him to cry or whine or something more Charlie-like and break it to her that way, rather than pulling a 'dick move' (pardon my language) and kissing someone else. But, I should've known better; Charlie was just a bevy of disappointment from the beginning.


message 61: by Amber (new)

Amber | 589 comments Crazy coincidence: I was walking through my city's downtown this weekend and saw a poster in the window of our old cinema, advertising that the Rocky Horror Picture Show will be making it's reappearance in September. I noticed they were advertising viewers to arrive in costume, but I didn't have time to stop and read anything else. I'll be interested to see the community's response to this.


message 62: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 5743 comments Amber wrote: "Crazy coincidence: I was walking through my city's downtown this weekend and saw a poster in the window of our old cinema, advertising that the Rocky Horror Picture Show will be making it's reappea..."

Are you going to go?


message 63: by Amber (new)

Amber | 589 comments After reading about it in Perks, I'm interested in seeing what it's all about. But at the same time, I wouldn't dress up. I think the poster said September 24, so I have some time to decide. If I do, though, I'll have to report back.


message 64: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 5743 comments Oh, shucky darn, I was hoping you would post a picture of you dressed up!


message 65: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (JaMaSc) | 13649 comments I wonder if most people who go will be middle-aged looking to relive a bit of their past.


message 66: by Alison (new)

Alison Forde | 269 comments I've been to a showing of Rockey Horror with audience participation - probably around the time Charlie was doing it. It was a laugh - but you did get a bit wet.


message 67: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (JaMaSc) | 13649 comments Judy wrote: "Oh, shucky darn, I was hoping you would post a picture of you dressed up!"

LOL! Shucky darn is a new expression for me. I like it!


message 68: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 5743 comments It was used in the Rocky Horror era, so it seemed fitting. LOL!


message 69: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 63 comments Alison wrote: "I've been to a showing of Rockey Horror with audience participation - probably around the time Charlie was doing it. It was a laugh - but you did get a bit wet."

I went to a midnight one also, probably about 10 yrs before Charlie, but didn't dress up (lots of people were in costume though). Die hard fans spit on us and yelled "virgins" as we were lining up to buy tickets. People brought toast, newspapers, umbrellas and lots of toilet paper to throw and unravel at the end. You're right Allison, people just went there to let loose and have a good time.


message 70: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (WildCityWoman) | 115 comments Janice wrote: "I think when you tell children not to read something, they become more curious. I remember hiding under the covers with a flashlight when I was visiting my cousin and we were reading Fanny Hill. ..."

OMG - how could you not understand Fanny Hill? Ha ha ha!


message 71: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (WildCityWoman) | 115 comments I've ordered it in from the library, It is on their BEST Reads shelf, so I might take the time to read a few pages and see if I'm going to like it.

It better not be anything like Catcher in the Rye - I didn't like that book at all.


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You'll love this one...!! A book club & more

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (other topics)
To Kill a Mockingbird (other topics)
The Catcher in the Rye (other topics)
The Tenderness of Wolves (other topics)