Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I just finished reading the book this morning. Its is very remarkable and quite special for me.. 🙂 It brings back old and sweet memories of my childhood. The book is the first novel by Stephen Chbosky, an American novelist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is published in 1999. He also wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed film adaptation of  Rent. The book is a narrative story, more like a diary by a turning freshman student named Charlie who describes his struggles and adventures during his high school life and writes all about this to an anonymous person.

This is my copy of the book, which is given to me by someone very special along with these cute and pink (my favorite color) bookmarks with lamp 🙂

If you haven’t read the book yet, here’s a synopsis from the book:

“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, but 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 the 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 a perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what is looks like from the dance floor.

Everyone can totally relate to the book. Whether you’re an adolescent, young professional, all grown-up or young at heart, because there’s one thing that all of us have experienced: Our teenage life. The lead character Charlie is a very sensitive and smart teenager who suffers from a psychological disorder caused by depression. He writes about the depressing and audacious chapters of his Freshman year. His best friend committed suicide just before the term started. As he was feeling lost and alone, he met new friends who have accepted his uniqueness and his love for poetry and music. His story holds bits of every reader’s story: experimentation with drugs and alcohol, making friends, sexuality, understanding peer pressure, family relationships, and loss. This book is truly helpful to the students who are also experiencing the pressure of being a “student.” You know what I mean. This should be read with a parent or a guardian so they will be able to answer questions and make the children understand the different delicate topics that the book comprises.

Too bad I haven’t kept a diary during my highschool days. It would have been fun reading it now and reminisce about those days and maybe I might share some of those in my blog 🙂 My teenage life (sigh, now seems so far away) is quite fun and exciting. Well, unlike Charlie, I was pretty much active during my high school days even until college. But I haven’t tried smoking, drinking and being high until I was on my early twenties (oops!). I guess I was a bit late-bloomer! hahaha Well, in my defense, I just tried it out of curiosity. To tell you honestly, I’m kinda glad I did tried those things so when I have kids of my own I may be able to tell them upfront what those things are and may give them a precaution in doing it. I really wanted to a cool mom or aunt someday 🙂

I enjoyed reading the book because the way Charlie narrates his life, he is really messed up but intelligent for his age. More often than not, kids during that age are clueless of what they’re up to and doesn’t have any single idea what the outcome of their actions would be. Charlie is responsible, but weird. Which makes him more cool and significant. Especially the part where he tells about his family relationships, I mean, come on. All of us has family dramas from time to time and as much as we’re ashamed of it somehow, it adds spice and humor to our lives.

Some people may find reading books boring and they’d rather wait for the adaptation of the book to the widescreen, well to those people, fret no more ’cause we will be seeing the story in the theaters very soon and it looks pretty awesome 🙂

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of0age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Here’s the trailer for the upcoming film:



2 comments on “Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  1. Thank you so much for this … loved “Juno” – and I have never heard about this book … so now I have this film to look forward too. Brilliant post – you have written .. with your heart and soul .. and your longings.

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