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.
Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky’s haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, and grown in to a cult sensation with over half a million copies in print.
It is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show,where all you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to fell infinite.
Through Charlie, Chbosky has created a deeply affecting novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.
I’ve always seen this book in top ten lists and favourite titles but have never read it. It’s one of those stories I didn’t really know much about but like To Kill a Mockingbird or Catcher in the Rye I knew people loved it and it was a book they’d re read again and again but I’d just never picked up. I mentioned this to C.J. Skuse (smooches) after she put it on her Top Ten YA list and she just said ‘It’s been sorted’ and low and behold a copy turned up in my little wooden mailbox. I know C.J. pretty well (i think) and vica versa and so thought that if was so passionate about it then i’d probably love it too.
After I finished reading this book I wanted to cry knowing that I’d missed out on years of having it in my life. I gush about a lot of books but this is a book I’m going to treasure because it captures that bemused and confused bit of teenage life we all feel. Charlie is that part of us when we are growing up that is lost in a sea of other peers and he’s broken but he’s surviving and even if it’s not true of us all it’s certainly how we all feel when we are teenagers. We are looking for ourselves and it’s hard but we keep trying even when we fall down.
I felt an honest connection with the highs and lows of Charlie’s life and how he’s sort of distant from the world around him but so involved in everything he does. He’s a truly unique character that I wanted to hug so much and try and make him laugh just to cheer him up some days. Having the story unfolded before you in the form of letters makes his story far more raw a tale to absorb. He doesn’t hold back his emotions and gut reactions only because he doesn’t think he has to. He is bearing his heart and soul to another person that doesn’t know him; almost like he’s writing his letters to us (the reader) directly.
The story goes in waves and you roll with them. I could care less if you see my review and think it’s all fawning rubbish because I would just ask you to go and buy a copy of the book and judge for yourself. It’s worth it just to experience this wonderful book. One moment that just shone out for me was Charlie in the truck with Sam and Patrick and he describes the moment by saying ‘And in that moment, I swear we were infinite’. I think in that moment I feel in love with this book. It is that one golden moment that unless you were there you’ll never understand what being ‘infinite’ feels like and I’ve been there and I’m so happy this book let me remember it.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the one book every teenager should be given on their 15th or 16th birthday with a card saying ‘This has some of the answers you need and some questions you’ll want to ask. Enjoy’