The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
In this teen classic that was adapted into a fantastic film in 2012, Charlie is starting his first year in high school and is very scared. However, he soon finds friendship in step-siblings Sam and Patrick, and in his English teacher, Mr. Bill. He develops a very Charlie-esque crush on the beautiful Sam and reads so many books that all end up being his favorite. He goes through his freshman year in a heart wrenching tale that has a climax in the most devastating way, explaining why Charlie is not exactly like the others, part of the reason he is such a wallflower.
This book has broken and rebuilt me every single time I’ve read it, which happens to be 12 times as of last week. Chbosky has written an incredible lead, Charlie, a sweet and layered character who I only wish I could be friends with in reality. The novel is written in the form of letters written by Charlie, subsequently in first person point of view. It goes into a more mature setting with drugs and adult themes, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is not comfortable reading that kind of material. That said, he also approaches topics that were somewhat taboo in the time the novel was written while giving many lessons on love. On another note, Chbosky throws in many cultural references, ranging from music to plays to other classics. He creates a world seen by someone so painstakingly honest and thoughtful; it really has changed my perspective on reality. This novel is small but incredibly powerful; it drags the receiver of Charlie’s intimate letters through laughter, love, smut, tears, and the emotion of feeling infinite. In a sign off that you will understand after reading the book, “Love always, Charlie”.
Written by Veeshva R.