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Reading Robyn

I am a lover of libraries, a reader of everything, a girl easily swayed by pretty pictures, and overall just your average, nerdy fairy princess.


2013 is the year I'm finally keeping up a regular reading blog Reading Robyn! There I post extended versions of my GR reviews so be sure to check that out!


I always seem to be on the move having lived in seven cities and counting in my nineteen years. I'm not on the run from the law as many have assumed (at least I don't think so), but moving around has given me an appreciation for how places make stories and people make memories. While change is inevitable, books are the friends that I take with me from place to place. They comforted me when I was sick, they push me to continue to learn and grow into myself, and most importantly they opened me up to the possibilities of living in thousands of places all at once.


I primarily read YA fiction, as well as a lot of graphic novels and manga. However, I tend to be this combination of odd reads, so expect the unexpected!


Cheesy Life Quote: "In this world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself." - Frantz Fanon

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky I am so very conflicted right now! On one hand I really didn't like the majority of this book. On the other hand, I really did like the last 100+ pages!I feel like I'm missing some pieces of the puzzle and yet have a bunch of extra pieces that belong in an entirely different box. My biggest problem with the entire book: the story telling didn't match the intensity of the events themselves. The author spread himself so thin that the the plot had no focus, no direction, and no point. The way that Charlie gets played up as this 15 year old who has all of these traumatic experiences is difficult to adjust to. He's like a small child in his impossible naivety and fragileness. Yet, I know that teenagers can be just so resilient that I had a hard time accepting Charlie's narrative. I'll admit that this is largely contributed to the fact that I'm use to characters taking struggle and trying to tackle it with strength and courage. But in Wallflower, this is a side of trauma where the victim isn't strong, but instead behaves in a manner that makes you feel like something has gone terribly wrong in his mental development. Now, this sounds interesting in theory, a character with so much potential, but the writing hinders this concept so incredibly that as a reader it was difficult to connect. You're being forced to rely on an completely unreliable narrator to try and give you some hint as to the motivation of his own actions. Does he have a mental illness, Is this some manifestation of trauma, What from?, and Why these specific behaviors? Honestly, it felt like the author wrote the first bit of the novel and as he was writing was still making up his mind about what exactly happened to this kid. This means there are a lot of miscues where things happen that you think explain events up till that point, but instead only bring up an entirely new array of issues. It's like commentary tangents, where eventually you just stop caring and are waiting around for someone to get to the point of this entire mess. There were events that didn't quite fit, that should have had a impact on the story but never do. Some of the events in this story were clearly added for shock value or to add more to the issues head-count. This hurt the flow of the plot to such a degree that it was pure frustration. Just pick one issue and focus already! I just couldn't figure out what it was aiming to be. It was so scattered that I couldn't pin down the direction it was going in and that resulted in me feeling like the book was just pointless. The first half of the book was so weak. I kept thinking: This is not a town I would want to live in and these are not people I would like to meet.This sort of uncomfortable-breaking-boundaries tone sometimes works to great effect, especially in the later half of the book. The situations the character is narrating, (despite being difficult,) can be worth while, rewarding, and entertaining. However, for the first section of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, it was not that any of those things. For me, Charlie's narration took a lot of effort to ingest and I found it difficult to force myself to keep reading. My thoughts were however, that I can't write a review about how the story has no pay off if I don't stick with it and see where this actually goes. So I stuck with it till the bitter end and it was around the 110 mark that I actually started to enjoy Charlie as a character. He still has his eccentricities, his sensitive nature, but it felt like he was finally starting to figure things out. He came across like a 15 year old, like a teenage boy trying his hardest and not the small prepubescent boy I had just forced myself to read through.At this point the writing hit it's grove and started to tell an actual story. I enjoyed all the secondary characters, at the beginning they seem like shells of people but by the end your hoping things work out for them just as much as you hope they work for Charlie. They help mould him as a person, and take him out of this constant mental state of mind. There are ups and downs for everyone and it all felt very realistic. When the story finally got that direction it still held onto that mysterious overtone. How did Charlie become Charlie, and can he really change for the better, or even hope for better? This was all handled excellently and the ending took all the scattered ideas throughout the book and tied them all back to what makes Charlie tick. It is the definition of a character driven plot. What really amazed me in the end is that this somehow won me back. I was just wanting this to end, it lacked any sort of appeal and yet somehow I ended up liking some of it. I was not expecting that. I expected to have nothing to nice to say and yet here I am saying nice things!The question now is, how do the positives and negatives compare? What can I possibly rate this? I liked this, but I also really, really didn't like this. I mean, I have a laundry list of complaints! Some of which I've even had to edit out of this review, but 100 pages of enjoyment is 100 pages of enjoyment. Thus, I am conflicted.I think I'm going to go with 2.5 STARS but I could easily come back to this later on and charge my mind. I don't like to go back on ratings but I'm going to keep this open and let it settle in my brain for while and see if I up this to a full 3 or 2 by the end of the month. Maybe, maybe not.I would not recommend this. If you're really set on reading this, whether it be interest in the upcoming movie (with Emma Watson as Sam), an interest in the popularity of the book, or an interest in the social issues then I would suggest that you give it a go, but I would not go out and tell someone to read this based off my own experiences.