The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, By Stephen Chbosky

What’s This Book All About?

Before reading, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, I had read a few reviews about the book and felt that opinion about the book was truly divided. While some really loved the book, others felt that it was annoying and over-rated. So, I decided to read the book and understand why there were so many mixed reviews about this book.

The Bigger Picture

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is written from the point of view of Charlie who has just begun his high school. A shy and introvert teenager, Charlie is trying to cope with the suicide of his friend, Michael. In order to lessen the grief and pain that he is undergoing, he shares his story through a series of letters to an anonymous reader known as ‘Friend’. Through these letters Charlie tells us everything about what happens in his life from his love for reading to his crushes and to his new found friendships with Patrick and Samantha. Dealing with diverse sensitive topics like drugs, love, sexuality, childhood abuse, etc., I felt that the book truly captures what teenagers feel like while growing up and how with some patience and sensibility they can deal with their problems in a more mature and sensible manner. Written in a strong and poignant manner, I really liked how the characters have been etched out by the author. So overall yes, I really enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower to a great extent and feel that it is an extremely good book for young and old people alike. (It goes without saying that I am in that category of people who loved The Perks of Being A Wallflower as opposed to those who did not like it.

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Another aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was the fact that Charlie was a passionate reader who read books across various categories. I liked the fact that through this novel, the author highlighted some major books that should be read by everyone at least once during their lifetime. So from classics like To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee to The Catcher in the Eye by F. Scott Fitzgerald to The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand to Walden by Henry David Thoreau, each book is highlighted in a manner that makes the readers who have not read the book, to pick it up at the next available opportunity. In a similar manner, I love the part how music plays a vital role in the life of Charlie and his friends. Good books and amazing music: what a truly fantastic combination!!!

So as Charlie’s story progresses, we gain a more deeper and better understanding of his life, his problems and why he became the person that he is today. There were many levels on which I connected to Charlie and few where I did not. But then that is expected as Charlie is not a character that has definite shades of black and white. As with all us, Charlie is complex and that is exactly what adds to the beauty and charm of the book. In short, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower deals with all the ups and downs of Charlie’s life and definitely stands out as one of the best coming of age books.

So would I recommend this book? Yes, if you are a teenager and feel that life is much more complicated than it looks. Yes, if you are an introvert and a misfit who feels that there are few people who understand you in this world. Yes, if you are struggling with life and want to overcome it by drawing inspiration from the life of another person!!! This book is perfect for youngsters above 14 years especially those who want a book that mirrors their problems and situations in a realistic yet engaging manner.

Final Verdict

Borrow from a friend/library for the perfect weekend getaway. All in all, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a deeply intriguing, satisfying and compelling story. So even if you think that you are nowhere like Charlie in the book, read it for the simple yet heartfelt writing. And what’s more with less than 250 pages, this book can be read and completed over a lazy weekend.

So did you like The Perks Of Being A Wallflower? What did you feel after reading the book? Feel free to comment below and let me know what you felt about the book.

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