The Perks of Being a Wallflower
With the movie adaptation approaching, guest reporter Ellis revisits this honest and interesting book about teenage life.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, published in 1999, is written from the perspective of Charlie, a boy who is starting his freshman year of high school. The story is told through letters written by Charlie to someone he knows, but who doesn’t know him. Over the course of the letters a window is created into Charlie’s life as he encounters new people and experiences new things. The novel is set in suburban Pittsburgh circa 1991.
With mentions of literature, pop culture, sex, drugs, homosexuality and abuse it is safe to say that everyone who reads the novel will have at least one thing they can relate to. Perks will make you laugh, cry and think about life in one sitting. Much is discussed about events in Charlie’s life that will surely hit home with a lot of people.
Now I’m sure you’re all saying, "But that’s not new. Plenty of other books have tackled all the topics you mentioned. What sets Perks apart from the rest?" Well, it’s the fact that while Charlie writes about his life very honestly, he is still somewhat naïve. There are things about him as a character that make you want to give him a hug and take care of him, but at the same time you want to teach him to stand up for himself and learn to be less of a pushover.
Maybe some of you will relate to him and maybe some of you won’t. What matters is that you get to know Charlie as he is, because he is a very interesting person.
It’s quite difficult to explain Perks without giving any of the plot away, so you should go read it yourself and see! For those of you wondering, though, no - it is NOT one of those books where the underdog protagonist saves the day and gets the girl in the end. In fact I don’t think there is a happy ending. Or a sad one. It's the kind of ending you don't get in a tragic romantic comedy. It's just a boy telling you about his life at high school and the people he meets and the things he does. (It’s not as boring as I just made it sound - I promise!)
Overall, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a great book that anybody should certainly read. Don’t pass up this chance to read a well-written, highly entertaining coming-of-age novel.
With the movie adaptation (starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller) coming out soon, it might be good idea to get a peek at what you’ll be watching on the big screen so you’ll be able to understand the plot more thoroughly!
Besides, we all know the book is always better than the movie.
4 out of 5.
Like this review? Want to write one like it? Check out our Get Published on Youth Central pages to find out how!
For more book reviews, check out our Reviews archive.