The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
By Stephen Chbosky
Published: 2nd February 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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 years 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 mixed 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 Charlie 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.
I picked this book up following a recommendation from my friend, Samantha. It sat on my shelf for a little bit until I participated in a chat for book bloggers on Twitter. The topic that week was books that have been adapted. This book was mentioned so many times, and it was raved about so I was really happy when I pulled it out of my TBR jar.
I’ll be honest it took me about a week to read this book, despite it being under 300 pages. It wasn’t because I didn’t love this book, it was just that life got in the way and I was working a lot of extra hours.
This book was fantastic, I absolutely adored it. Firstly, I should tell you how the book is written. The narrator and protagonist, Charlie, writes letters to an unknown recipient explaining to them what’s happening in his life and his thoughts. I really enjoyed this, I love an interesting format and structure, and this delivered beautifully. This book didn’t have defined chapters, in a similar fashion to If I Stay. It was one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy that book, but in this book I didn’t find it a problem whatsoever.
I found Charlie’s insight and though process to be my favourite thing about this book. The character had an incredible way of looking and approaching situations. The famous and most quoted line “in this moment I feel infinite” reflects that. He seizes the moment and looks at the world in a different way from most characters his age. Granted, at times I thought he was naïve but this only added to the character development.
The other characters in this book were also fantastic. I loved that they were very individual and none of the smaller characters blended together. They all were distinct and interesting. Which is what made the secret Santa section of the book my favourite part overall.
This book is the definition of a coming of age story. It touches on so many issues for young adults, whilst remaining funny and light hearted. The darker issues were handled beautifully too, and they highlight the effects on each character. A good example of this is Patrick’s story, I loved seeing it through Charlie’s eyes and how it affected him.
Everybody was right, this is an amazing read. It reminded me to be more thoughtful, and consider those around me. The book mentions The Rocky Horror Picture Show, so it was bound to be a winner. I’d truly recommend this to absolutely everyone, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s been adapted to film.
Please give this book a read, you won’t regret it!
If you’d like to get yourself a copy: Amazon link