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 mix 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 he 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.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
I wanted to start off the year with a book review that was a little different from what I usually post about. I actually had to read this for school, and ended up writing a review about it. So without further ado, here is my thoughts on The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
The book is a coming of age novel that documents the life of Charlie, a freshman in High School who is trying to cope with loss, temptation, first love, and maturity. Told through a collection of letters from Charlie to a mysterious “friend,” Charlie documents the ups and downs of his life, his new friends, and his family, while giving his perspective on their lives and issues as well.
By using a letter format, Chbosky was able to give Charlie’s perspective but from a more distant view. The letter format allows Charlie to look back on the events that took place and analyze them, giving the reader a better understanding of his life. The format stays very true to his character as well since a prominent theme in the story is literature and how it affects Charlie’s life at different times. Books like To Kill a Mockingbird, A Separate Peace, and Peter Pan, all shaped Charlie in different ways and matured him by the end of the book. He is in no way a static character, and because of the book’s short length, it is easier to see his growth from beginning to end.
There are some very explicit themes in this book that wouldn’t be suited to younger readers, such as drugs, alcohol, and sex. This book should be read at a similar age as Charlie was when writing the letters. This book was meant to be read by teens who are going through their first years of High School because it is nice to read about a character who doesn’t have all the answers, who is just a simple wallflower.
I give this book:
Have a wonderful week and see you next time!
XOXO Shelby Grace