Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Book review)

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: MTV Books/Pocket Books
Release Date: February 1, 1999 
Genres: Contemporary, romance, drama
Medium: Paperback, borrow / Ebook, bought
The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a magnificent read. I started reading the book with an open mind, after I put it on my to-be-read list, and then had a friend tell me how good it was and offered to let me borrow it. She told me of how addicting it was and how the book grabbed you and would not let go, which was my exact reaction towards it as well. 
The characters in this story are all troubled, yet productive people. Charlie, the main character, has an Achilles heel, and that is that he is always playing the part of "shoulder to cry on." He is always taking in all the emotions around him, but never letting any out. It's as if he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. So he watches all the people around him with interest, always trying to be the person he cant be for them, honest and compassionate and kind. But it soon takes a toll on him and his friends as they all face the problems that a majority of teens go through- drinking, drugs, sex, death, friendship and relationship problems, "coming out" and being gay, and more. Charlie, along with his two best friends Sam and Patrick, band together to get through these things, even as they prepare to go their separate ways after graduating. 
Written in past tense, much like a diary of letters, the story rolls through Charlie's first year of high school, 1991-1992. Chbosky's writing was great, and I would love to read more from him. The entire novel was very emotional and deep, touching, and heart-felt. It really makes you feel as if you know Charlie, and that you really are reading his letters that he wrote just for you. The beginning and ending of the story match up perfectly, which left you guessing and wondering through the middle of the novel. When you reach the end, you read it with a sigh of relief, glad that Charlie has finally found his way. Enthralling and emotional, I give this book 4 stars, a very nice read for high schoolers and above.

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