I read the book a few months ago, in preparation to watch the movie. Not sure why I was interested. It just looked like a good coming of age movie taking place in 90s high school. I actually stumbled upon the book in the lobby of my apartment—someone had left it for anyone to grab and read.
Have you read it? It’s a bit triggering for me, and I don’t want to spoil the movie or book, so you may want to skip the rest of this post if you haven’t read it or watched the movie.
The book went into a lot more detail of course, and had more subtle hints, but I sort of knew there was some element of sexual abuse coming. The book had this sad quality about his writing. So it wasn’t a surprise to me. I read some reviews on the Internet where people said they didn’t see it coming, but perhaps they just weren’t in tune with the clues and foreshadowing.
The movie did a really great job with the book. The ending was done particularly well, when Charlie breaks down. When I watched it a month ago I cried during this part. It really spoke to me. His sudden realization. The guilt. And how he was so close to killing himself or harming himself seriously.
Perhaps because Charlie was a guy also made it hit home. Although his abuser was his aunt, and mine was my brother, there were still similarities. Perhaps I was a bit like Charlie. I let life pass me by. I didn’t want to make waves. I didn’t want to take chances. I wanted to be an observer. It was tough making friends.
Anyway, I’ve been putting off talking about the book and movie because it really touched a nerve. But I definitely recommend both.