Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky
1999
MTV Books
978-0671027346

Told through a series of letters written by teen Charlie to an unknown person, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the story of a socially awkward youth who stands on the edges of society, carefully observing everything around him. When he attempts to stop being a wallflower and start “participating,” he quickly discovers all the ups and downs of adolescence, from first love to experimenting with drugs and alcohol and even a brief part in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I was excited to read this book both because it is considered by many to be a YA classic, and also because of the upcoming film. I absolutely loved Emma Watson as Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise, but I admit I am nervous about seeing her “all grown-up” in a different sort of film. As for the book, you really can’ t help but feel for Charlie. The teen years are awkward for all of us, but circumstances in Charlie’s past have made connecting with others even more difficult for him. He is very intelligent and often notices things that other people don’t, while at the same time he is often clueless in social situations, which results in much of the novel’s humour. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found Charlie to be one of the most memorable characters I have encountered recently.

The movie trailer is here:

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