Charlie St. Cloud
by Ben Sherwood
Date Read: 08/12/2012
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
To start, I want to say that I saw the movie recently, and enjoyed the story so much, that I thought I would pick up the book and see if it's just as good. Books are usually better than the movie, so I had high hopes for the book.
And now I can say that the book did not disappoint. One thing that I noticed that was different from the movie was their ages. They were supposed to be late twenties/early thirties, but Zac Effron is early twenties. But honestly, the age didn't really make a difference because I pictured Zac Effron the entire time, and the only time I had a hard time was when his age was being described.
This is a great story. After a horrific accident, Charlie is brought back from the in between world of living and dead, but his little brother doesn't make it. But after the accident, Charlie finds he has a gift and he can see people who are in the afterlife, including his little brother, Sam. This idea is really neat to me. How they held on to each other, and Charlie was able to see and play catch with his dead brother.
Sam's character was a lot of fun. Even though he was only 12, and never grows up once he's in the afterlife, he's still a very important character in Charlie's life. However, he does hold Charlie back, because Charlie has to be in the cemetary at sunset every day, otherwise Sam would disappear.
It was interesting to see what greif and longing can do to someone. Charlie made a promise to never leave Sam, so for 13 years, he was in the forest at sunset. Until he meets a girl and then he has to decide what kind of life he wants.
I thought Tess' character was interesting too. She's the only girl who has been able to keep Sam off Charlie's mind. She was a strong willed character, and thus, she got into some nasty trouble.
The twist at the end I knew was coming, but that's only because I had seen the movie. So I think the realization would have had more impact in the book on other people than it did on me, beacuse I kept expecting it. But it's a very interesting twist, and totally made sense when you think about it.
And this twist makes Charlie have to choose between the two people he cares about. He has to make a choice between holding on to the past or letting go and moving on.
I really liked the feel of the town where they lived. And almost made me want to sail. Of course, not in a storm though. And I thought the end was very well done. It was very realistic, which I really appreciated. It was happy, but also realistic.
I thought this book was done very well, and it's such an uplifting story. A story about life and death, past and future, holding on and letting go. And it makes you think that miracles really can happen and makes you wonder how much of life you're missing and makes you want to make sure you're not just wasting your life.