Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Book to Film, Contemporary, Mental health, Young adult
Dates read: 16th August 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
5th sentence, 74th page: She lifted off the pillowcase, and there I was, standing in my old suit, looking at an old typewriter with a fresh ribbon.
Charlies’ not the biggest geek in high school, but he’s by no means popular.
Shy, introspective, intelligent, yet socially awkward, Charlie is a wallflower, standing on the threshold of his life whilst watching everyone else live theirs. As Charlie tries to navigate his way through uncharted territory – the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends – he realises that he can’t stay on the sidelines forever. There comes a time when you have to see what life looks like from the dance floor.
After finishing this novel, I sat staring at the cover for a good five minutes. Just. Staring. And you know… understanding. Understanding why this is a fairly popular book and why it was made into a movie. This is just phenomenal. And gut wrenching. And beautiful and just… I’m really not sure I’m going to half the words to write this review. It is just such a great story and I absolutely adored it.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is kind of a coming of age story. But it’s just so, so, so much more. It is a story that left my heart seriously hurting after turning the final page. But, it also left me with a big smile on my face – one that I tend to get only when I’ve read a particularly amazing novel. One that is well written and insightful. And, in spite of all of the tragedies and horrible, heart rending moments throughout this – there is an overwhelming feeling of hope.
This is a great reminder of living life and finding / embracing those who you love. But more so, finding those who actually love you for you and who you are. It’s a reminder that even if you’re a bit of an “outsider”, there is someone out there who will love you completely and without reservation. Someone who will make you feel like you’re coming home, just by being there in your life. It’s a great idea and something that made me constantly think about my own friends and the ways in which they help to lift me up on the worst of days.
This is a phenomenally written novel. And, I honestly don’t understand how such a tragic and intense story feels so damn beautiful. It doesn’t feel sad and tragic at all. Rather, it feels hopeful and beautiful. And, well, not quite light, but uplifting in the most confusing of ways.