The Perks of Being A Wallflower — Stephen Chbosky
The story is about a boy battling his way through adolescence. Charlie, as he calls himself, writes a series of letters prior to the start of his freshman year addressed to an anonymous friend. The letters started after his Aunt Helen’s death and a friend’s suicide, while Charlie’s still struggling from his losses. As soon as classes started, he met Bill, his English teacher, and soon became his friend and mentor. Bill assigned books for Charlie to read and gave him assignments regarding these. He also met two seniors, Sam and Patrick, became their acquaintance, and introduced him to a different world where Charlie has never been. Soon, he was exposed to drugs, sex, love, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and mixed tapes that would make you feel ‘infinite.’
See, I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars. It really haunted me in a good way. You’ll never want to stop once you started reading it. It’s very addicting in a way that somehow you’ll feel like the pot they’re using was also affecting you in some ways you just couldn’t imagine. Being inside Charlie’s head was a treat to any reader—he was a true genius despite being ignorant of the usual things that every teenager just knows. There are perks of being a wallflower—sitting in sidelines, looking at people, observing, wondering what is going on with their lives. But being just a wallflower isn’t enough. Like what Bill advised Charlie, you must ‘participate.’ Participating is better than just observing people, and doing such won’t kill you either.
Chbosky used simple writing in this novel, which, I think, suits the established theme. I mean, who would write to someone using sophisticated words? He’s not writing an essay or any literary work, so why bother? It just isn’t right. So I guess that’s a plus.
The ending wasn’t really what I expected, but it disclosed my incessant bewilderment regarding Charlie’s problem. I do believe from the start that something’s wrong with him and the ending just conformed it.
All in all, the book really impressed me. In addition to being charming, insightful, nostalgic—poignant is really what I describe it. Furthermore, it taught me to look differently at things—like what Charlie did—because I myself am a wallflower. Not precisely the way Charlie is but in a distinctive way.