Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This is the story of a year in the life of Charlie, high school freshman. Charlie is shy, observant, intelligent, sensitive and genuinely nice, if naive. He believes the best of other people. He is befriended by two seniors, Samantha and Patrick, and with them starts participating in high school life, parties and such.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has loads of fantastic reviews and I've been wanting to read it for years. Luckily, I was only ever so slightly disappointed. I loved the beautiful writing and how it brought the relationships to life. I loved how the relationships developed. I loved how Charlie was slowly brought out of his shell and how he joined the real world, made friends, had experiences. He lived through some painful moments, but also through ones of awesome happiness. I especially liked his feeling of being infinite - I still remember that feeling from when I was younger, when I thought anything was possible and that the world was mine. 'Infinite' is exactly the right word for it and the fact that the author got this right is amazing in itself.

I said I was ever so slightly disappointed because there was one thing that bothered me and I wanted this book to be perfect for me. In the high school world I know, Samantha and Patrick (and their friends) would never have been nice to someone like Charlie. So their friendship seemed forced to me, I didn't quite believe it, I kept expecting them to turn around and do something nasty. This probably has to do with me being jaded rather than the book itself, but that's what I was thinking while I was reading it.

I just looked on Amazon to see Chbosky's other books but there aren't any - can that be right?


heavenisabookstore said...

This one is on my list as well. I keep seeing people read it and wonder how it is. It seems very short too? On goodreads, he only has one other book, so that's probably accurate. Very nice review!

Anonymous said...

This one has been on my list for years. Some day it will happen!

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I heard there's a movie adaptation coming out. When you started describing the story i was also expecting the part where the "friends" turn on him. O well, I guess in a high-school, somewhere, such a story might be possible. just not likely.

Kailana said...

I read this earlier in the year. I agree that I thought the friendship from the older kids to younger kid was a bit strange to me, too.