Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Goodreads Rating: 4 of 5 stars

How I found it: I imagine this book was destined to eventually reach my hands, as I had heard plenty of it both before and after the movie came out. After watching the movie, I was certain I wanted to read the book; so when a young friend of mine came over raving about this book she had picked up at the library, I asked to borrow it from her before she returned it.

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Charlie is coping with the suicide of his friend, Michael, and preparing to enter high school alone. To process his anxieties about life, Charlie starts writing letters to a stranger, using the letters as a diary. ‘Perks’ is laid out as a collection of those letters, which tell Charlie’s story through his own eyes as he deals with the pain, joy, adventure, and confusion of being a teenager.

My Thoughts: I’ll be honest, it took me a few letters to really get into this book, as I had to grab hold of Charlie’s identity as a confused and depressed 15-year old boy. Until I did that, the writing style seemed awkward and a bit childish, but as you begin to get to know Charlie and understand that this is literally written in diary-style it becomes a bit more endearing. Despite the young writing style, I have to admit that this is easily one of the most quotable books I have ever read. Filled with little bits of wisdom, I often found myself stopping every so often to write down a quote from its pages.

All in all, I love that this was a raw look at what it can sometimes be to be a teenager, a victim, a hero, a misfit, a wallflower, and truthfully, a human. An easy read, quick and to the point, but easily one of the more emotional books I’ve read as well. An incredible reminder that you have no idea what people are hiding beneath the surface, and that sometimes, they don’t either.

Recommended for: anyone looking for an easy but intense read, teens who want to know they are not “the only one”, anyone wanting to remember that growing up is hard, but also okay.

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