Welcome to a new feature on Expect Cowgirls! Every Thursday, or whenever I feel like it, I'm going to complain about stuff I don't like and pass it off as Writing, because you can do stuff like that when you have a blog and probably your friends will still read it anyway.
This first Things I Hate Thursday post is dedicated in controversy to Stephen Chbosky and his book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which you probably know because everyone was reading it back in about year 12 and talking about how flippin' great it was.
I guess they were high, because this book totally sucks. The storyline is pretty familiar - some awkward high-school age kid experiments with drugs and sexuality and deals with Issues, and as we go we learn a bit about his inner turmoil and dark past. (See also: Degrassi, Clueless.) I guess Chbosky figured that since these kinds of texts have a lot in common, it would be easy to just throw together all the old cliches and a few pop culture references and impress everyone.
And he was right, because I've never heard anyone else say they didn't like it. It was so popular they've even made a movie of it and I just do not get it. Honestly, it's so generic you could be forgiven for thinking it's a parody of the genre. I don't see how anyone could genuinely enjoy it unless it's the first book they've ever read; if that's the case, I do concede that the ideas will seem quite fresh.
I hated this book so much I wanted to stop reading, which I almost never do, but a friend convinced me that the amazing twist ending would make my suffering worthwhile. I was thinking from page one that the ending was super obvious, so I was surprised to hear that and really interested to find out what the crazy twist would be!
Turns out it was only a twist if you had skipped past page one... and every other page in the book... and never read a book like this before.
I don't want to give away any spoilers that Chbosky himself doesn't give away, so I will tell just you what it says at the very start: when Charlie, the protagonist, was a little kid, his aunt used to live with their family, until she died. Although he has a brother and sister, Charlie was always her special favourite nephew; they were really close and used to hang out a lot. He's pretty sad about her death, since they were really close. Really close, you guys.
Honestly, "it was all a dream" would've been more original.
In conclusion, if you find Mills and Boon plotlines too hard to follow and were shocked when Ross and Rachel got together, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the book for you.