This might feel a little spoilery ...
Charlie has led a great life and things might be turning around when he meets a group of wallflowers who just want to be themselves.
Why Did I Pick It Up:
I'm in a book club with some friends, this was our first book. I wouldn't normally have picked it up ... again. I've read it once before and I didn't really enjoy it. Realistic YA fiction isn't my thing ... but here we go.
I like how Charlie talks to us and that we don't know who he is writing to. I like to imagine that he is writing to himself, which is a great form of therapy. This is a good book for teens to read because I think Charlie is really working on coping with his best friends' suicide. But this book hits on more subjects, being bullied, not feeling like you fit in, not having friends, using drugs, drinking, and coming to terms with horrible issues (rape, incest, and suicide). I feel like this book hits on all those big topics without feeling heavy-handed, in other words, not how Go Ask Alice deals with the issues.
I don't like realistic fiction. I like endings that are left open ended, but happy. I like monsters and magic and dystopian settings. Even if I loved realistic fiction, I would really hate that there are no adults around for Charlie and he doesn't seem to really be resolving any issues.
As a not-teen I really wanted Charlie to feel better at the end, and I'm not sure he does. I really want Charlie to have someone to talk to and work things out with, but I don't think he ever has that throughout the story. All of the adults in Charlie's life give me the creeps and I hate that, I wanted one adult to step in and be a good, strong, healthy example of what Charlie's life could be like in the end.
Who will love this book?
How much did I like it? 6/10
Will I read more? This is a stand-alone novel
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