Published: February 1999
Publisher: MTV books and pockets
"I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day...or wondering who did the heart breaking and wondering why." Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
This is a rather hard book to review. I was putting this review off for as long as I possibly could as I just can’t seem to form any words to describe how much I loved this book!
Having not watched the movie I decided to tackle this book down after I found a cheap copy in my local store! The book addresses just within the first few pages; suicide, domestic abuse, homosexuality, molestation, rape, abortion, drug use and mental illness. Which is basically a jackpot for me as I’ve been trying to find books that more or less address these issues but are also YA.
Charlie is a freshman who is shy, nervous and not at all popular. Not only that but his bestfriend, his only friend committed suicide. Charlie decides to face the world in a different way, he decides to write letters about his many experiences as a social wallflower to his friend. The way the book was written is original and astonishing. Letters are always somewhat personal and private, you can list all of your fears on a piece of paper and either send it to someone or not. Because Stephen decided to write Charlie’s story this way it’s so much easier to connect with him. To know exactly what he is feeling.
I feel as if this book tackled everything along with the pressure and what it feels like to be a teenager in a new school with no friends.
I can’t praise this book enough, no wonder so many people fall in love with it.