The Perks of Being a Wallflower tells the story of a 15-year-old High School student named Charlie who suffers from depression triggered by some kind of abuse when he was a child. He regularly sends letters to an unidentified recipient; talks about his everyday life, the challenges he faces as a young adult, the pain, happiness and everything else that a typical adolescent experiences.
I liked this book coz it’s a real story. Not that it’s based on a real person’s life, but because what Chbosky wrote has actually happened to most of us, especially when we were in our teenage years. It depicts the challenges faced by an adolescent as he comes to age; like socializing, making friends and finding your space in this world.
Just like Charlie, I was once a wallflower. Contrary to what I portray (being this carefree and fun loving) now that I am in my late 20s, I was shy when I was a kid. While all the girls in the class joined cheerleading for the sports fest in their skirts, I was in my baggy shorts and DMs. I was not pretty, I wasn’t even popular. I always felt awkward whenever I would talk to the boys in the class, all the more when someone tries to get close to me. I can still remember an incident when I was sent to the principal’s office when I was in Grade School coz I ‘stabbed’ 2 guy classmates (in their arms) using my pen. They tried to hug me (and kiss me on the cheeks), so I taught them a lesson not to bully a helpless, fragile little girl. I may look delicate at that time, but believe me, I can be as violent when harassed.
I like how Chbosky wrote this on a different style. The inclusion of letters written by Charlie to an unidentified person kept me wondering ‘til the end about who that recipient is. Anyway, it’s just as if I am not only reading a book, I’m also playing with my imagination by trying to create my own end of the story.
The plot may be a little melodramatic for those who do not appreciate sappy stories. The lines were heartbreaking and left me in tears. There were more distressing incidents than happy ones, but I guess that’s just how the author would like to depict the character of a disturbed young man.
It’s a good read for those who love fiction yet realistic books, but not for those who prefer to smile while reading.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written by Stephen Chbosky. I heard the movie adaptation has been filmed but I’m not sure if it’s already shown. Cast includes Emma Watson (Hermione Granger of Harry Potter).