Before reading, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, I had read a few reviews about the book. However, I felt the reviews 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.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is written from Charlie’s point of view, who has just begun his high school. A shy and introvert teenager, Charlie is trying to cope with the suicide of his friend, Michael. To lessen the grief and pain 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 his newfound 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 while growing up and how they can deal with their problems more mature and sensible with some patience and sensibility manner. Written strongly and poignantly, I really liked how the author has etched out the characters. Overall, yes, I really enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower to a great extent and feel that it is an excellent book for young and older people alike.
The Bigger Picture
Another aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was that Charlie was a passionate reader. He loved reading books across various categories. I liked the fact that through this novel, the author highlighted some incredible books that should be read by everyone. With books like To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, The Catcher in the Eye by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand to Walden by Henry David Thoreau, each book is highlighted a manner that will make you want to read it immediately. Similarly, I love how music plays a vital role in the life of Charlie and his friends. Good books and amazing music: what a truly fantastic combination!!!
As Charlie’s story progresses, we gain a deeper and better understanding of his life, problems, and why he became the person, he is today. There were many levels on which I connected to Charlie and few where I did not. That is expected as Charlie is not a character that has definite shades of black and white. As with all us, Charlie is complex, which adds to the book’s beauty and charm. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower deals with all the ups and downs of Charlie’s life. And it definitely stands out as one of the best comings of age books.
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite..”Stephen Chbosky • AUTHOR
Would I recommend this book? Yes, if you are a teenager and feel that life is much more complicated than it looks. It is also a great book if you are an introvert who feels that no one understands you. If you are struggling with life and want to overcome it by drawing inspiration from fictional characters, this is a great book. 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.