The perks of being a wallflower, the first novel of Stephen Chbosky, is a book about a shy boy named Charlie. He suffers from depression. He’s at the begin of his first year of high school and is already counting the days down to the end. Charlie has always been the misfit in school. Right before he started high school his best friend killed himself and at the same time Charlie blames himself for the car accident in which his aunt died.
In a series of letters written by Charlie and sent to an anonymous person we learn about his life, his new friends, his family and especially Charlie himself. Charlie would like to become a writer so his English teacher, Bill, gives him extra books to read. Charlie then writes essays about them.
At school Charlie meets Patrick and Sam. Patrick is gay and has a secret relationship with a football player. Sam is Patrick’s step sister and Charlie is attracted to her from the beginning. For the first time he knows what it really means to have good friends.
Later on Charlie starts dating Mary Elizabeth (a member of his friend group) but soon comes to the conclusion that he doesn’t really love her the way she loves him. During a game of truth or dare, someone dared him to kiss the prettiest girl in the room, but instead of kissing Mary Elizabeth, he kisses Sam. At that moment Patrick tells him to stay away and everything starts to become bad again for Charlie.
I started reading ‘the perks of being a wallflower’ because I heard a lot of positive things about it and a few people recommended it to me. At the beginning I needed a bit of a warming up to get in to the story, but later on it became one of the best books I’ve ever read.
The style of this book can be a bit annoying. It feels like if you’re reading his diary when actually you’re reading letters. The decision from the author to write like this has it’s positive and negative sides; it can quickly become boring to read about what a person has done on a day. At some points in the book I was afraid that this would happen, but there always came something that made it exciting again.
At the other side, by using this style the book can feel more intimate. While you’re reading the story it feels like you really know Charlie as a good friend and it gives you this feeling that Charlie is talking to you.
What makes this book so special is that it isn’t a typical story; the main person, in this case Charlie, doesn’t become the most popular person in school at the end of the story, he doesn’t get the girl of his dreams and in the end all his friends leave high school and go off to college.
Another thing that makes this book great is its reality. It describes a lot of things that some teenagers are going through every day.
I definitely recommend this book to others who like or need to read a book because it’s a fun book and not that hard to read.
I 2012 ‘The perks of being a wallflower’ has been made into a movie. The movie became a huge success. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller.