The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

March 10, 2012
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Growing up is something everyone has to do in life. We each have our own stories to tell and experiences to relate to. In the book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower it does just that. Charlie, a fifteen year old boy starts his freshman year and has the same feelings anyone else would have, fear. However from the beginning of being an awkward boy he changes into a mature man. As you follow Charlie and his story, you learn to see through his eyes, as an observant wallflower. With its moving writing, interesting story, and well done characters, this coming-of-age tale has become a popular hit with teens of all ages.
Its unique writing style makes this story more personal and as if Charlie is actually writing letters to you.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is very intimate so you are able to really understand Charlie and relate to his feelings. From the way it is written, it brings Charlie’s emotions out and you can feel exactly what he is going through. Also, using Charlie to tell stories about his past, Stephen Chbosky slowly unveils the mysteries of Charlie to readers. This book is also very straight forward, because that is the way Charlie writes to us. The blunt directness was weird for me to get used to at first, but became very enjoyable to read and hear how Charlie spoke through the pages. However, it is not only the writing trait which made this book so incredible, but the interesting plot.

Because its perspective is unlike other coming-of-age books, it provokes deep thought about people and oneself. It tells through the other side, the passive and observing side, Charlie’s side. No matter what type of person you are, one can truly relate with the things Charlie goes through, such as, peer pressure, love, and that feeling of being infinite. Another thing that the story brings out is true friendship bonds. At times though, we may feel helpless like Charlie does, when we want to help a friend but don’t really know how to. In the book, Charlie’s friend Patrick goes through a tough time and Charlie doesn’t know how to get him to be like he used to, so he does what he can and sticks with him on that bumpy road. Also, it tells romance in another way. Instead of usually reading about the “chase”, Charlie acts otherwise. He likes this girl called Sam, and when he hints that he has some feelings to her she says, “‘I don’t want you to waste your time thinking about me that way.’” So Charlie does what Sam says and tries to not feel like that for her anymore. But throughout the story Charlie’s feelings grow and he truly cares for her, but doesn’t do anything because Sam said so. From this example, you can see how this way Charlie acts might affect him throughout the story, but Charlie is definitely a different and loving character.

Charlie has a really kind trait and it’s shown many times throughout this book. There is angst in this story from time to time like when Patrick is really hurt by this guy he likes, but Charlie is there for him. “Then, he started crying. Then, he started talking about Brad. And I just let him. Because that’s what friends are for.” This respect and attention that Charlie treats his friends with really shows what he values and the type of person he is. Another character that is also really great is Patrick. Patrick is real, funny, and is the one who helps Charlie be out more and introduces him to people. Although Patrick is gay, the author writes him like how anyone else would be because it’s true; Patrick is just like any other human. His constant support for Charlie and advice is crucial to how Charlie gets through his freshman year. There are much more characters in the story such as Charlie’s family, and others. All these characters have something in common, they are realistic and relatable. Stephen Chbosky’s characters in this book aren’t stereotyped to be like other high school stories, but act like people really would. With these elements, the author creates a beautiful story of self discovery.

In summary, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a great book that anybody should definitely read. Don’t miss out on something that could very well become a favorite on your bookshelf. Read this story and maybe you can learn some important messages throughout the book that will help you find who you really are.

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