When I read a book, there is a time when I leave the world as it is and enter the world of the book. Becoming Charlie in Stephen Chbosky’s masterful print was not just an experience, but a rollercoaster.
I have watched the movie adaptation of this book (incidentally written and directed by Chbosky himself) about four times because it is a special film to me. Until this point I had not read the book, mostly because I didn’t want to ruin the movie for myself.
But I did. And I can’t believe I hadn’t done it sooner.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age story that is told in letters the narrator, Charlie, is writing to an anonymous individual. I think this is one of the most intriguing forms of narration I’ve ever come across, because confiding in someone anonymous seems like something an insecure teenager like Charlie would do.
The main themes of this book are finding a place for yourself, being loved and valuing friends and family. The simplicity of this, although laced through with amazingly deep sub-plots, is reflected in the innocence of the narration, and Charlie’s development as a character is seen this way from start to finish.
The most striking element of this book is the realism of it, and how everything that happens in it is something that could be happening to anyone in real life. It becomes easy for an adolescent to be able to relate to, and love, this beautiful narrative.
Of course, now the movie seems a little less great, but I think that’s okay because it just proves how incredible the book is.
I don’t have any flaws to mention because there aren’t any. This book is just a touch of genius.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a guidance book to anyone who is insecure, has been through some hardship or experienced loss. It is also an eye-opener to any teenager.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating: