The Perks of Being a Wallflower
By: Stephen Chbosky
First Published: February 1999 by MTV Books
Re-Published: August 2012 by Gallery Books (MTV Books)
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.
This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course 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.
Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.
I first read The Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2003, in my senior year of high school. I remembered feeling less alone after I read it. No matter what was happening in my life, I realized that people were going through things as well. It was one of those stories that have stayed with me for years. When I heard it was becoming a movie, I was so excited, I knew I had to re-read it before I saw the movie. When the publisher sent me a surprise tie-in movie edition, I knew it was fate. I was looking forward to seeing if the book meant the same to me as it did 10 years ago, and it 100% did!
What makes Perks so interesting and original, is that it is written in letter form, always ending in, "Love always, Charlie". Charlie is about to start freshman year of high school, feeling alone and scared he writes letters to an anonymous person, in the hopes that someone out there will listen to him. I thought this added so much to the story. Through the letters we learn all about his life, his family, his loneliness, and finally his new set of friends. His friends help him open up to become the young man he is meant to be. I loved these guys together. Patrick and Sam are wonderful and fun, and I easily loved both of them!
I just loved Charlie as a narrative. He is such an endearing young boy, and you can tell he has a lot of problems. Towards the end, a secret about Charlie is revealed. This secret changes everything and makes you understand Charlie so much more.
Overall, I loved this story as much as I did 10 years. Perks is one of my favorite books, and I think it is a book that everyone should read, young and old.
Check out the original cover:
I can't wait to see this movie! Check out the trailer below: