For this week, I thought I would review “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky.
Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephan Chbosky
Genre: Teen Fiction
Quotation: “But because things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
Would recommend to: teenagers or young adults going through a transitional period.
This novel follows a 16-year-old boy, Charlie, as he stumbles his way through his freshman year of high school. He’s a shy kid who prefers to watch the action around him than participate in it. Throughout the book, he makes good friends and experiences normal high school events. The novel seems mundane at the beginning, but grows into a powerful message that any reader can learn from.
Charlie goes to a football game, experiences weed for the first time, falls in love with music and people, goes to parties, meets people with various backgrounds, forges a powerful bond with a teacher and learns about himself and others as he trumps through freshman year.
“Perks” has a unique structure and style that not everyone can connect with instantly. It is written as if Charlie is corresponding with a friend through letters. Every entry begins with the date and a salutation, which helps readers understand the twisting timing of the story.
The author also relies heavily on context and intuition from the reader to dig deeper behind the black words in front of them. Charlie explains his feelings and his actions to a point, but to fully grasp the meaning behind the text, the reader must think beyond what is stated. The interpretation of the storyline is left up to the reader.
This book holds a very powerful message about life and its continuity despite difficult times. If you are looking for an honest, heartfelt, powerfully written, compelling story, I suggest you pick up this book and delve within its covers. Push your mind to understand more than what the author is presenting to you while reading this novel. To fully understand the message of the novel, it requires inference, questioning, and a lot of understanding of other people and their emotions. Readers also benefit from being at a similar time in their life as Charlie (going through a transition) because it can help them understand how he is feeling at certain points in the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first reading, as well as second, of this classic novel, and I strongly suggest you pick up a copy. You never know what life lessons a 16-year-old boy can teach you.