I had been meaning to read Steven Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower right after watching the movie adaptation of the novel (I can’t believe I watched the movie before reading the book). Since the movie was so popular, I couldn’t get my hands on the novel for quite awhile. Fortunately for me, with all the other book to movie adaptations out there right now, I finally found a copy at the library.
I have heard and read countless raving reviews for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I can’t say that I didn’t absolutely love this novel. I’ll even admit that this may be the best coming-of-age novel I’ve read to date. Charlie is such an honest character.
“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that way. Chbosky beautifully depicts how life as a 15 year old can be at times and Charlie was the perfect kind of character to use. I loved that even though I wasn’t born yet when Charlie is writing to his “friend”, the issues with his friends that he discusses are the same kind of problems I faced (and still face) when I was growing up. It also kind of makes me sad that the issues his friend Patrick has to face with being gay are still problematic today.
Even though the way The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written (in letter form) drove me crazy, Chbosky makes Charlie’s journey easy to follow as well as easy to empathize with. Despite the devastating and heartbreaking occurrences in the novel, I ended The Perks of Being a Wildflower with happy tears and 5 stars on Goodreads. I only had one question after finishing; who the hell was he writing letters to?