The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

I finished this book last night after a really hard day with anxiety. Actually, after a really hard week with anxiety. This is what I posted at 2am on Goodreads:

I think what I liked most about this novel was how smart Charlie is. He kept wow-ing me with his thoughts about life. I’m finishing this book at a time where I am “bad,” so I also think I’m grateful for a book like this. I’m grateful for reminders that things will get better again.

Perks is a novel told in letters written by an anonymous 15 year old kid, Charlie, during his first year of high school. He befriends a band of outcast seniors, grows with his family, and uncovers a memory that may or may not have affected his life profoundly.

Epistolary novels aren’t my favorite, if only because I feel I miss so much character development in summary. It was good from a writing perspective to know that summary works. But as a reader, I really wanted to be dropped into scenes more.

But there’s something very profound this story touched on. Life is hard. And we can either suffer under it, or live in spite of it. I like to think, but the end, Charlie chooses to actively live, participate, instead of being a wallflower. I think it’s advice we should all take to heart.



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