Author: Stephen Chbosky
Release Date: February 1, 1999
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.This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, andThe Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those books that teens obsess about because they think that it’s “cool”. Yes, yes, it was fine. I guess. There were some deep, thought-provoking, teen obsession-inducing, passages, but I didn’t really see more than that. I’ll admit that it wasn’t completely horrible, in fact, there were many times that I actually enjoyed it. However, some things were just too much for me. Like Charlie’s crying.
What the fudge. Why did he cry so, so, so much? About every, single thing. It was crazy. I wanted to jump into the book and smack him. Just overly sensitive. Not only was he an overgrown cry-baby, but he was also freakishly naïve. I’m sure I’m not the only one that knows that if you’re offered brownies at a party filled with teenagers, they’re going to have something in them. Seriously. Oh, Charlie, so sad and pathetic. I think it’s safe to say that I did not like Charlie. I was fine with everyone else, just not the main character.
I did like how the book was written. It was all letters from Charlie to the reader of the book. It felt very close and personal, like Charlie actually knew me and was actually talking to me. I liked that. However, Charlie seemed to “write” like an 8 year old, with overly simplified sentences and no real structure. When he actually wrote something interesting, it didn’t even go well with everything else he had written and seemed out of place. The obsession-inducing passages I mentioned were the ones that have been quoted over and over by teen girls that don’t even know where these quotes came from. They include:
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” ← This one just makes me angry, because I’ve seen it everywhere.
Moving on… there were some nice passages in the book that I really liked, but it sort of felt like it was a mix of nice passages and random garbage that had no real substance or meaning. Maybe I can’t really relate anymore since I’m not a teenager and no longer in high school. Maybe if I was 15, I’d “get” the book? I don’t know. I’m eager to see the movie, and I hope Charlie won’t be as emotional and pathetic as he is in the book. So far, the trailer looks promising.
Here’s the trailer: