I recently read this book because I saw the trailer of the film and I was curious about it. I’m glad I did because I think it will go down as one of my all time favourite books.
The layout is risky for a typical book as it is basically letters written by the main character, Charlie. I was skeptical about it and I was really hoping it wouldn’t be a soppy ‘Dear Diary’ kind of thing, which it isn’t.
So, without giving too much away (I really recommend you read it!), Charlie is an outsider and he is 15 years old. He doesn’t have any friends and the one friend he did have committed suicide. The only member of his family that he was particularly close to was his Aunt Helen but she too, passed away.
He notices pretty much everything that goes on around him but he doesn’t ‘participate’ he just sits back and watches life pass by. Then one day he met Sam and Patrick. Two people who took a real interest in him.
A few quotes from the book.
‘Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve’
‘And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.’
‘I am very interested and fascinated by how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.’
‘I don’t know how much longer I can keep going without a friend. I used to be able to do it very easily, but that was before I knew what having a friend was like. It’s much easier not to know things sometimes.’
‘But because things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.’
‘It’s great that you can listen and be a shoulder to someone, but what about when someone doesn’t need a shoulder? What if they need the arms or something like that? You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.’
‘So I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them’