The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
By Stephen Chbosky

I’ve had this book on my to-read list for years. I don’t know what it is, but I just could never bring myself to open it up and actually read it. It probably would have stayed there for many more years to come, had I not been shadowing a YA lit class where this was a required text.

It wasn’t at all what I expected. Though, granted, what I expected, now that I think about it, doesn’t really make too much sense. Basically, I imagined that the entire story had to do with leaning against a wall at a high school dance. Great plot, right? I don’t know what I was thinking.

Anyway, I read the book and there was no wall-leaning.

This is the story of Charlie, a boy experiencing the joys, confusion, and strangeness of being a freshman in high school. The entire novel is written through letters that Charlie writes to some anonymous person whom he feels he can trust with his story and personal admissions.

He makes friends with an unlikely senior, Patrick, and his step-sister, Sam, who function as guides, companions, teachers, and confidants for him.

This book covers drugs, sex, lies, sexuality, family, personal-conflict, depression, angst, the value of literature, social hierarchies and their ridiculousness… you name it, almost every high school issue is there for the taking.

I really enjoyed this book! It was an easy read and I found myself constantly compelled to read another letter, just another letter, well, maybe one more…

Charlie is a unique character yet somehow also completely in-tune with a very real and often overlooked mentality of being in high school. It’s a confusing age and a confusing time, and his navigation is painfully honest and incredibly insightful.

I regret leaving this book untouched for so long. I was wrong to do so. WRONG, you hear me?!

Learn from my mistakes and read this book!

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