The perks of being a wallflower
Pub Date: Feb 01 1999
Charlie is about to become a freshman and a wallflower. He is constantly caught between the desire to participate in life and to run away from it. He is far from popular but very intelligent. Above else he can be very socially awkward. And this is the story of Charlie discovering uncharted territory: first dates, new friends, family drama, drugs and much more. This is the year that he finally makes the choice to actively participate in life instead of just watching from the sidelines.
This is one of those books that just pulls you right in. It’s very hard to put down once you start reading it and you just want to finish it in one sitting, even the second time around. It just has that distinct awkward feeling that is so characterising for those teenage years. It’s written in a very honest and compelling way.
The storyline is very good, it’s not overly full but it’s also not too empty. It really does feel like it could be a real freshman year, yes there is some drama, but not so much that it becomes unbelievable. The story is written very chronologically, because it follows the letters that are written. Sometimes there are certain flashbacks, but they are only very brief and just add that extra depth that can make a book so much better.
Charlie is a very special person, he is definitely not the most conventional teenager and I guess that’s what makes it so interesting to read about how he thinks and feels about his surroundings. He has a very honest writing style and in a way a very innocent one as well. It’s amazing how he wonders about so many things people never think twice about. His friends are very interesting as well. I love Sam who is a great girl who is always honest with Charlie and makes him question the way he acts. Patrick is also one of my favourites because he just is in a really complex and difficult situation but finds a way to deal with it anyway. It’s not always the best way but it’s so great to see the interactions between him and Charlie. Charlie often doesn’t really know how to be a good friend to Patrick in these difficult times.
I thought the writing style was just very well chosen for this type of book. it makes sure you are instantly sucked into the story because it’s just so honest. The teenage years are often very hard for everyone and it becomes really hard to put your thoughts and feelings into words. Stephen Chbosky made a perfect choice with this writing style because in these hard times it’s hard to be so honest with people you really know and even your best friends. So sometimes it’s just easier to confide to people you don’t really know, people that will keep your secret. I absolutely love the awkwardness that just exudes out of most of the writing, it just really gets you back to your teenage years when things just seemed so complicated and strange.
I re-read this book because I will be watching the movie soon. And yes, it will only be in theatres in a couple of weeks here in Belgium. It has been torture waiting to see it while pretty much everyone else has already seen it. Soon I will be one of them though!