Perks of being a Wallflower is a book I bought nearly two years ago, yet since its adaption into a movie last year, starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, it has become increasingly popular. When I first read it I had a deep sense of connection with the novel, there was an unfathomable sense of honesty about things left unspoken, or whispered behind hands and closed doors. Stephen Chbosky’s epistolary novel, which is narrated by Charlie the main character, is written in a series of letters to ‘a friend’ by Charlie as he tells his story of adolescence as he navigates his way through uncharted territory.
This book speaks about the alienation that many teens experience, and because of this it creates somewhat of a cult following. With the books memorable quotes littering the webpages of social media sites where avid fans take every opportunity to ‘like’ or reblog them. I couldn’t help feeling a strong sense of compassion for Charlie and his naivety right from the very start of the novel. With him confiding in the anonymous friend, whom he writes all these letters to, Chbosky writes the story perfectly so much so that I am engrossed in Charlie’s life that I feel as though I have become his friend and not just reading a fictional novel.
It’s such a heartfelt and beautiful tale set in the early nineties that covers many problems that all teenagers of any decade face: the world of first dates; family dramas and new friends, the world of sex, drugs and music. And even though this book is set twenty years ago, I wholeheartedly believe that anybody who reads this book will learn something from the issues that are brought up in this novel or will resonate to at least one of the characters that Stephen Chbosky beautifully dreamt up.