I first read this book as a teenager about 5 years ago. I loved it then but if it’s at all possible, I love it even more now. I’m putting this down to the experiences I’ve had in that time that have changed me/contributed to the person I am today.
‘Perks‘ tackles some very heavy themes and is at times a painful read (more so to me these days than it was 5 years ago). Despite being young in tone, I would definitely recommend this to adult readers. Charlie is one of the most genuine characters I have ever come across. He is just so precious, and I want to wrap him up in a big hug and build him a blanket fort and feed him Twinkies. Books are a refuge for him against the trauma of real life (as if I needed another reason to love him) and he is just the most perfectly realised character. I adore him. In fact, I adore all of the characters in this book; Sam and Patrick and Mary Elizabeth and Bill and Charlie’s family are all so three-dimensional. Chbosky has created some of the greatest supporting characters I’ve ever read. Their friendships are warm and genuine, and I was rooting for every single one of them. #squadgoals
Reading back over the notes I made whilst rereading and trying to form them into a coherent review, I’m struck by how many single words I wrote down. Like cute. And funny. And poignant. And raw. And real. And lovely. And honest. Every single one of these words can be applied to this book and every single one of them makes it the absolute treasure that it is. For such a short book, it packs a hell of a punch and it is through the combination of these qualities that it is able to have such an impact.
It also features some of my favourite quotes of all time, which I will leave you with:
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
“I feel infinite.”
And the greatest of all:
“Let the quiet put things where they are supposed to be.”
What a triumph in YA literature.
(On a side note, the movie adaptation is equally wonderful and I highly recommend it.)
Does anyone else have a soft spot for this book? Let me know in the comments! I have too many feelings for one person.