Review: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky

4327066Author: Stephen Chbosky
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: Pocket Books
Release Date: February 2nd 2009
Pages: 232
Spoilers: I’ll try no to.

I’ve been dying to read this book for months. And honestly, I bought the book months ago, too. But it’s been agonizing trying to decide which book to read first. After a while I just couldn’t take it anymore; the book was screaming at me, wanting to be read. I picked it up, even though my schedule was crazy busy, and finished it after about a week. I mostly read it during breakfast in the sun or long train rides. I had high hopes because of the movie – I loved it with my whole heart. Fortunately, the book was even better. Though I gotta say, the movie was AMAZING too. It’s quite strange that the movie is as good as the book, but I believe, that particular thing occured to The Perks.

“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 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. But Charlie 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.” [goodreads]

The story is told by Charlie. He is writing letters to an unknown person – maybe some of you might know who that is, but I thought it was all quite mysterious. At first, it bothered me, I was trying to find clues in the text to find out who he was writing to. But after three of four chapters, I just made peace with the fact that maybe I would never find out.

The letters were quite surprising to me, I didn’t know the book was written that way. I’d seen the movie a couple of times – it never even mentioned letters. At least, not that I know of. Maybe if I rewatch the movie, I will see the letters in it after all. Anyways, the letters were quite funny. It was from Charlie’s perspective and I could totally imagine how he was struggling with his social awkwardness. Because THAT’S an understanding. He is naive and has to learn everything there is to know about friends, relationships and heartbreak. And I think that’s what makes the book so appealing: it’s honest, heartbreaking and awkward. Every teenager will know how it felt when they first kissed, when their heart were broken for the first time and when they finally went off for college. I sure do.

I completely fell in love with Charlie. Not like a crush or something, but like a brother. But not really like that. It’s hard to explain. I just wanted to tell him it was going to be okay. And maybe because of the movie, I had a handsome person in mind. But yeah, I think Charlie is one of the most amazing and interesting characters I’ve ever read about. He thinks pretty childish-ish. But sometimes it feels as if his soul has seen it all – has felt it all. He got something special about him that I can’t really put into words. And I’m not going to try.

I loved all the other characters too. None of them were too stereotype-ish. Of course, some of them did, but at the same time, not really. You think you know all about them, but you don’t. There’s always more to the story. There’s more depth. Chbosky mastered that art. And I loved every bit of it.

Perks is funny and heartbreaking of the same time. Charlie blames himself for every bad thing that happens to his loved ones, but he shouldn’t, because it isn’t his fault. Yet he feels that way. And it’s interesting to see him struggle. I wanted to cry, sometimes. I was touched by the story. And sometimes I really just couldn’t stop loving.

I adore this book. It’s an easy read. But at the same time, it will make you think about who you are and what you want in life. I would definitely recommend this book to all of you guys. Boys, girls, young or old. Everybody will enjoy this book! It won’t let you down neither won’t it let you go.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a heartbreaking, cute and funny story that will keep you reading until the very last page.


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