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.
First line: “Dear friend, I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.”
Title: The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
My edition: A paperback published by Pocket Books in 2009, (the book was first published in 1999) with 232 pages.
Age: Young Adult (15+ SHOULD read it because it’s so amazingly correct to what a 15 year old goes through)
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
I stood in front of my bookshelf after Shadow and Bone the other day, and I was pretty much having a book-hangover, the worst one. And then I was so unsure whether or not to start a series (again), or if I was just going to pick something light and short so that I could read the second book of the Grisha trilogy when it gets here, and so I saw this book and I was like, why not? Well here’s what: I read the book from cover to cover from about 11pm till 4am. My hands were numb, my eyes red and soar and my nose was running because that was one of the most real and beautiful books I’ve ever read.
The plot is simple. There’s Charlie writing letters to someone (We’re never really sure who he writes letters to, but I have an idea about who it can be) where he pretty much tells about his life and things he feels and thinks and it’s so so simple.
What I love about the plot is the fact that it’s pure and raw Charlie. Everything is seen from Charlie’s point of view, and looking onto the world through his eyes became my favorite thing about this book. What hit me so hard was that I cried at one point, because I suddenly realized that Charlie and I aren’t all that different.
It’s messy and beautiful and personal, and I loved that about this book. Because it absolutely feels like reading someone’s private letters where they tell about their lives and their feelings, their ups and downs and because the writing is messy, it also becomes so real. I suddenly realized why everyone was talking about this book, and I realized that even though I love the movie and I can watch it a hundred times and never get bored by it, I don’t think I could ever be bored by the book either.
I am a wallflower. I’m a nobody. I’m not one of those people that other people notice immediately. I’m insecure. I’m scared that if I try to talk to someone, they’ll not listen. I have a couple of friends, but they don’t really know anything about me. I keep to myself. I think too much. I’m too emotional. I see things that other people don’t see. So. Charlie and I weren’t really that different. The only difference was that he went through one hell of a traumatic thing when he was a kid, and I went through a bunch of small things. I immediately felt myself grow kind of uneasy while reading it, because, to be honest, a lot of the things he says in that book felt so real to me because I’d thought about that. I’d seen that. I am Charlie, and I think that we all are Charlie at some point in our lives, and I think that is something beautiful right there.
I love Patrick and Sam, they are the reflections of my friends, the people who really care about me and the people who notice when I’m sad and happy.
I really liked the ending. The book has such a brutal discovery, and we see small hints a long the way and I loved how it ended.
The book is almost like a small tribute to everyone out there who has ever struggled with mental health, to everyone who has experienced something they want to forget, and it’s a tribute to everyone who’s ever had a friend in “need”. I loved the book simply because at some times I felt like it was about me. Like it was my own thoughts.
To everyone who likes contemporary books and books about mental health.
“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
– Charlie, The Perks of Being A Wallflower