Sunday, November 4, 2012

Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky

This book has been on my rader for a long time. It is one I've thought about picking up, but just never did. When I heard it was being made into a movie with Emma Watson no less, I knew I needed to read the book. Finally, last week my nephew texted me to tell me we had to go see this movie and he would even go see it again with me I knew I needed to move it up my reading list. I am so glad I did. I started and finished it yesterday and absolutely loved it! Again, it is a very mature read so it would be best for high school students. This book is told through a series of letters written by Charlie to a 'friend'. Charlie is a very sensitive boy who is just about to start high school. He really has no friends since his closest friend committed suicide the previous year. He is scared of not fitting in, not finding a friend and being along. Charlie seems to feel things deeper than most boys at this age. He feels pretty alone at home too. His sister is more interested in being popular and his brother is a football star who is playing his first year at college. When high school starts, he really feels as though he doesn't belong until he meets Patrick and Sam who accept him for who he is and introduce him to a whole different group of people who are all happy to get to know him. The way Chbosky wrote this book through letters and revealing bits of Charlie's story as the book progreses was so brilliant. I was so wrapped up in Charlie, Patrick and Sam that I could not stop reading it. Now I have to find out where the movie is playing so I can go see it, I'm not sure I can wait for the DVD to come out.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

I've been on a real weird reading binge lately. I'm reading so much for my new job that I often don't feel like reading when I get home and because I'm not in the classroom right now, I'm not looking for new books for my students. However, one of the perks of my new job is meeting new people and talking about books. I love working with people who love to read as much as I do. The only problem is they are high school teachers, so some of these books are a bit more mature than what I normally post. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is written by two authors who are fairly new to me. This book tells the story of two different Will Grayson's, both boys in high school but who are pretty different. The first Will Grayson that we are introduced to is a boy who was in with the popular gang at school, but when he stood up for his former best friend, he suddenly found himself back with his original friends again. This isn't such a bad thing because his friends like him for who he is, although he struggles to accept them in the same way. His oldest friend Tiny, is anything but small. Tiny is a very large (in both stature and personality) gay boy who falls in love time and time again, but is constantly getting his heart broken. Will is both amazed by Tiny and also often embarrassed by him as well. Will doesn't have a problem with Tiny being gay, but he just wishes he wasn't so blatant about it, because many other kids in the school aren't so comfortable with it. The other Will Grayson is a very lonely boy. He has one friend at school and another 'cyber' friend who he lives to talk to. When his two friends betray him, he doesn't know what to do or how to carry on. But, when Will Grayson meets the other Will Grayson, the boys start to learn a lot about each other and realize they have a great friend in Tiny. I thought this book was hilarious in places and heart breaking in others. The authors did a really great job of writing the voice of the two Will's. I'm not sure how believable the events in the story are, but I enjoyed reading about the adventures of Will, Will and Tiny. I also think there is a great message in the book about acceptance, friendship, romance and even just surviving high school. There are some real mature themes and events in the book that make it not suitable for elementary kids. However, high school students should read this one. I'm going to give it to my nephew and see what he thinks.