Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Blurb: “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 on the dance floor.”
I remember watching the movie when it first came out, but I was 17 years young and couldn’t understand what was going on (or I didn’t pay attention to the TV when it was playing). Yes I know, I’m a little late with reading this book, but I am also that type of person who avoids things that are “hyped” until it wears off.
I ended up purchasing this book from “Save the Children” book fair at the start of this month, where all proceeds go towards the organisation. I went with my friend and she recommended the book as I picked it up, saying how good it was. And since she has amazing taste, I decided to give this book a chance.
When I started reading part one, I was so excited to see the book being narrated by Charlie in a letter format. I am obsessed with anything that has to do with letters or when books are narrated through letters (so I hope my review isn’t biased, but who cares?) Charlie was writing a series of letters to a stranger, but Chbosky doesn’t tell us who the stranger is.
Charlie starts his letter off in 1991, a socially awkward freshman starting high school. However, Charlie is having a hard time coping with the death of his Aunt Helen and his best friend Michael. Charlie became friends with Patrick and Sam during a football game and continued to write about his “participation” through house parties, the Rocky Horror Picture Show and having older friends.
Chbosky explores issues such as mental health, substance abuse and sexuality, as well as Charlie enduring bullying, dating, having his first kiss, first love and developing his writing skills through classic books. After I finished reading the book, I decided to re-watch the movie and then I understood what was happening and I thoroughly enjoyed both the book and the movie.