The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Date Read: 08/05/2014
Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his year yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
This novel is about a teenage boy named Charlie, who struggles a little to fit in at his high school. He slowly builds friendships around a group of teenagers who are a little older than him. We see Charlie develop as a person and see deep into his thoughts because this book is written as a series of letters to an unidentified friend.
I loved the way that it was written in a letter format. I loved seeing the world through Charlie’s eyes. The novel begins when Charlie enters high school. He is nervous and scared. His brother has been a popular student, a football player who is now in college. His sister is a senior. Charlie is into books, not sports. So he won’t be continuing on his brother’s footsteps. After the initial nervousness, Charlie finds friends. They are older than Charlie, and thus also more experienced. Through them Charlie experiences new things; dates, falling in love, drugs, alcohol.
What I really admire in the character of Charlie is the fact that he never stops being himself. He is comfortable being himself around his friends; he is not afraid to show his feelings, he is not afraid to cry. It is obvious that something has happened to Charlie when he was a child. There are notions to a time Charlie has spent in hospital. I think also Charlie’s sensitivity takes its roots from Charlie’s childhood and what has happened to him.
Overall, I highly recommend that people read this book if they haven’t already. It is a very touching story that proves you can make it through the tough teenage years, and that you shouldn’t give up when life gets you down. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about growing up. But it is also a story about embracing yourself and who you are. It shows it is okay to be yourself. Most importantly, it shows that we all fit in somewhere, we all have our place in this world.