Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Pages: 224 (Paperback)
Genre: Young Adult / Epistolary Novel
Age Recommendation: 15+
Publisher: Pocket Books
“I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have.”
First published in 1999, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a series of letters written by 15 year old protagonist, Charlie. He is quiet and sensitive and he writes to an unknown recipient about his life during his first year in high school. Throughout the book he is trying to come to terms with 2 traumatic experiences – the first is his friend’s suicide and the second, his favourite aunt’s death during his childhood. The book also covers his struggles with making friends and falling in love.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one my favourite books. It is also very short and not part of a series so there isn’t a lot I can say without telling you the entire plot. Lots of people I have spoken to about it struggled with it at first because Charlie is “a bit strange”. This probably has something to do with the fact he talks like a wise 40 year old trapped in the body of a 15 year old guy. But once you adjust to this it’s a really easy book to get into. It helps that the entire book is written as a series of letters. It is a short book as it is but the letters just makes it so much easier to read. It is one of those books you could probably get through in a day if you have the time. The characters are also super lovable especially Patrick and Bill. If you have seen and liked the film it is definitely worth reading the book. It does vary in places but it is just as good! There are a lot more beautiful quotes as well which is always great!
Film adaption: The movie is definitely worth a watch. Even just for the soundtrack. Or Emma Watson.