My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I had seen it just about everywhere, lots of positive reviews for it but I had this strange feeling that I would read it and be the odd one out, that I would end up hating it. I also didn’t read the synopsis of this book before hand so I was truly going in blind.
I listened to the audiobook version and I was very impressed by it. The narration, provided by Noah Galvin, was excellent, each character was given its own voice to the point I thought there was more than one narrator.
I really enjoyed the story. It was full of emotion and even though there were drugs, alcohol, abuse and teen pregnancy and other sensitive issues it felt right, since those are things that affect many teenagers both personally/directly and indirectly. I know some people had a problem with so many of these things showing up in one book all affecting Charlies life but let’s face it some kids in real life do have that many things to deal with on a daily basis. It really makes the book feel more real. As well it does a great job of bringing these issues and shows how those affected by them as well as those around the person affected have to cope and what happens when things are bottled up inside.
I loved that fact that the main character Charlie was into books, and how whatever book was the last he read he would consider his favorite book and that would be the reason behind it. Hell just the mention of all those books make me realize that so many of them I have not read myself and so I will have to look into them at some point. When a book inspires you to read other books, even if its just because they were mentioned, it really is an influential book.
Overall I did truly enjoy this book. Yes it had some less appealing parts of it but the story itself and how it was told was truly beautiful. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it, even though I know not everyone will love it or appreciate it for what it is.
The movie was an interesting adaptation of the book. Considering the book is done as letters to Charlie’s “friend” I wasn’t quite sure how that would translate into the movie. I think they did a good job of covering the basis of the letters in the book, but like most movie adaptation of books several things were changed.
The characters were good, much like they were in the book, and although I wasn’t sure on the choices for some of the actors initially in the end I think they were all good choices once the story progressed.
The movie really grabs at emotions during certain parts and I will admit that near the ending, around the fifteen minutes left mark (the scene where Charlie calls his sister and before he ends up in the hospital., I did need to pause the movie to steel myself so that I wouldn’t cry. That scene wasn’t so blatant in the novel and so it was a bit shocking but at the same time I knew it was coming.
The flashbacks were a bit too fast in my opinion to really see what was happening in them. I realize they did it that way so that it would slowly reveal more each time but I think those scenes may have been lost on people who hadn’t read the book first as they came and went in mere seconds. Really if they were slowed down just a bit more they would have made more sense and wouldn’t have left the watcher wondering what the heck they just saw in those two or three seconds.
Overall I think the movie was a good adaptation of the book and I would certainly recommend it both to those who have read the book and those who haven’t. I’m not sure whether it’s better to have read the book first or not before watching this movie, but it would likely help to read the book first in order to understand the flashbacks a bit more and perhaps to have knowledge of what was coming at the end so it won’t be shocking to people.