Thursday, March 13, 2014

Perks of Being a Wallflower

This isn't a self-help book.  I needed to know some of these so-called perks when I try unsuccessfully to attend professional networking events.  I think the real lesson is that there are no "perks" to being a wallflower.  This is a coming of age book that many people have read and I finally got around to reading.  It really is a love it or hate it book.  If you like a coming of age novel with a narrator that has some serious mental issues, well you are in luck!  It reminds me of Silver Linings Playbook (the book--not the movie) but with a 15 year old narrator.  People love characters that are so weird or messed up that they still see life through the eyes of a seven-year-old.  Even if they are fifteen.  Or even thirty-five. 

In a series of letters our protagonist tells the story of his freshman year in high school.  He has a lot of problems.  He is not right.  It is not realistic, not like Freaks and Geeks, or anything.  If you are not on board with our weird narrator, Charlie, a reader could see Stephen Chbosky's writing as "forced whimsy" as one reviewer called it.  You know, I can see that. I think if this came out right when I was 15 and all my classmates were quoting it, I would have probably hated it too.  Normally I am the cynical one.  Wow, this book must have caught me on a good day.  Also, I am sucker for a shout-out to The Smiths.  I loved The Smiths, my Mom...did not.  My Mom: "Oh no! Not the moaning man again!" She used to try to use reverse psychology on me too: "All black again? (pause a beat) You look cute in that!"

While Charlie and his friends drink brandy and listen to records, (that sounds fun too) the book is also set in the very early 90's so you should drink this with a popular late 80's-90's drink.  Kamikaze: 1 oz. Triple Sec or Cointreau (I think Grand Marnier would be fine too), 1 oz., vodka and 1 oz. lime juice.  I drank these and this recipe sounds better than I remember these tasting.  I suspect people were giving me drinks with inferior alcohol.  And not real lime juice. Damn 90's. 

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