In the perks of being a wallflower we meet Charlie, a boy the age of 15yrs and coping with the suicide of his friend Michael. To add to this, he is also just about to start high school. In order to lessen the fear, anxiety and stress of starting high school alone; Charlie begins writing letters to a stranger, someone who he has heard was nice. We accompany Charlie through this stressful time and we see him grow – he makes friends, he goes on a date and even has his first kiss.
Oh just FYI, the definition of a wallflower is very well defined by another character, Patrick who speaks of Charlie’s wallflower nature by saying:
“You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand”
We see him try to understand the world around him, at one stage, we see him trying to understand why people go the mall!
Chbosky excellently addresses the nature of young adults featuring themes of mental health, sexuality and substance abuse, to name a few. He writes Charlie so endearingly that you can’t help but fall in love with the character. I think this is maybe because we can relate to him. I’m sure everyone of us, at one stage or another, has felt lost/lonely or afraid of something new, the unknown.
I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favourite books to read and it’s not one I’d go straight back to if I chose to re-read a book but it’s charming and endearing yet deeply upsetting yet uplifting in the same sense. It reminds us of what it’s like to be young and idealistic.
I’d definitely recommend reading this novel, even if it is just the once. I totally think that I’m a wallflower, what about you?
Below I’m going to put some of my favourite quotes from the book because believe me there’s a few! Until next time!