Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

4 Stars

Because things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.

I wrote this review way back when the novel just came out and I consider myself lucky to be one of the early readers and to have read this without the movie or the cast influencing my perception of the book and its characters.

This book is a coming-of-age story revolving around the life of Charlie, an introverted boy who doesn’t involve himself too much with the things and events around him. In “wallflower” terms, he doesn’t participate. The story is told from Charlie’s POV, in a letter form addressed to someone, which the audience (us) gets to read. At first I was doubtful with the format used but as the story went on, I felt that it was just right. The pacing was refreshingly slow but not dragging. It felt as if I was really living Charlie’s life with him. You get to read his thoughts, his inner ramblings and opinions on his life, and the lives around him.

The book tackles sensitive topics like sex, loss of innocence, drugs, homosexuality, peer pressure and many other things majority of the average teenage population gets to experience growing up. Each reader will be able to relate to different stories and instances, which I’m sure they’ve experienced during the days, or perhaps even presently. What’s interesting about the take on these topics is that we get to see from Charlie’s point of view, which happens to be extremely naive yet logical. He can easily come across as feminine or too soft, a doormat, too emotional, too sensitive, hormonal even, for a boy, but as the reader, you know that these traits are also his strengths. It makes you wonder, Why is he like this? or What is making him be like this? or What really happened to him? Is he sick? Nearing the end of the book, I was still asking these questions, and it wasn’t until the last few pages when I found out the answer. It was shocking, yet it made sense. I finally understood why.

I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t say anything regarding that. You have to read it or Google it to find out for yourself. I recommend you to read the book because it’s really good. It’s a very light read, I easily finished it in one seating. It’s rare to find a book this light and simple to have so much depth and substance. I highly recommend it for all ages.

After reading this book, I’d have to say that for a short while, I felt infinite.


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