I just finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and found it strangely familiar. Hmmm, what other book ends with the protagonist being in a mental hospital partly due to being unable to cope with a family member's death? And struggles with making friends, sex, and all those general coming-of-age issues? Oh! Yes! That's right, I remember!
And so I decided to make this fun chart:
|[Just off the top of my head]|
It's not a bad book, by any means, nor is it a total rip off of The Catcher in the Rye, it just borrows heavily. It's like when a young girl goes into her older sister's closet and "borrows" her dress, sweater, earrings, jacket, and purse, stopping short at taking her underwear. Chbosky definitely borrowed from his big brother Salinger, but did throw in his own belt, cufflinks and whatever else men wear. There are differences, but there's just so much that they have in common! I was willing to give Perks a chance since I see it as one of the original YA books- it was published in 1999, far before the current genre craze. And if I had never read Catcher I probably would have liked it just fine, I just can't experience the same level of appreciation reading the two almost back-to-back, seeing the glaring similarities.
Oddly, I have high hopes for the movie (I haven't seen it yet).