The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Wallflower-noun wall·flow·er: a person who is shy or unpopular and who stands or sits apart from other people at a dance or party. Charlie is a wallflower. He’s consistently on the sidelines, watching people on the dance floor, always there listening and observing people yet not participating in the events occurring around him.  But there comes a time when Charlie sees what its like to be on the dancefloor, that time comes when he meets Sam and Patrick. Sam and Patrick are two outgoing high school seniors, that introduce him to a world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a touching story written by Stephen Chbosky, enchanted me with its unique characters.  Chbosky created characters that were realistic and experienced real-life problems.  One of the characters that I loved the most was the protagonist, Charlie. We learn about Charlie and his complicated life through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name. Reading about Charlie’s experiences through letters adds to the heart-wrenching genuineness in this teen’s story. Charlie is a socially awkward fifteen-year-old boy that is struggling to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school and life. Charlie is a wallflower, shy, introspective, and intelligent beyond his years.  Charlie was six when his favorite Aunt Helen died in a car accident after she left to go buy him a second birthday present and continues to holds himself accountable for her death. Years later his best and only friend committed suicide, so in order to cope with these incidents, Charlie began to write letters to an anonymous friend. When Charlie begins high school he feels lost and lonely, that is until he meets two senior step-siblings, Sam and Patrick. Sam and Patrick turned an innocent boy into a individual with more experience and maturity. In this beautiful novel, we see Charlie go through the same hardships that many teens face in high school like how to make friends, family tensions, a first relationship, learning about sexuality, and experimenting with drugs.

Overall, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a interesting coming-of-age novel. Though I very muched like this novel, it had its flaws. I felt that at some points Charlie seemed very sensitive and extremely emotional. Nevertheless, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is very funny, touching, and memorable. Stephen Chbosky created lovable characters. I appreciated how Chbosky set up the book in the form of letters that were candid and based of true emotion. If you love pragmatic novels and are looking for a great read, I advise this critically acclaimed book to you. Due to the explicit scenes, I recommend this book to kids thirteen and older.