The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky | Teen Ink

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

October 9, 2013
By JessicaWu SILVER, Brooklyn, New York
JessicaWu SILVER, Brooklyn, New York
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

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Picture life without your best friend,and imagine if the reason he died was because of suicide. How could you live wondering all the time about why he killed himself? Think about having to face your first day of high school without him. If this sounds hard to live through, imagine how complicated Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower ’s life is.
Losing his friend is one of the many problems Charlie has to face. This perfectly written young adult novel will take you on Charlie’s journey through high school. Reading the letters he sends will unleash his whole story to you.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is told from the point of view of high school freshman, Charlie. The book consisted of letters addressed to a person he calls “friend”. The letters serve as a diary, since Charlie expressed all his thoughts and feelings in his letters, as well as talking about his experiences. This book is amazing because of how it’s written like how an actual teen would write. The author makes it seem as if you’re actually reading letters from a high school student. You can see how Charlie matures throughout the novel and how he learns new things. The author makes Charlie seem immature and innocent in the beginning, but as the story progresses, you see this is not the case. The reader can understand Charlie’s thought processes and relate to him. Everyone has experienced something he has. Charlie says, “I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that.”

This novel doesn’t include just Charlie. What makes this book different and interesting are the other characters. We meet Sam and Patrick as Charlie sits through a football game next to them. They are both high school seniors that have a huge effect on Charlie’s future. Sam is a very mature and experienced person. She guides Charlie down the right path and tries to educate him. She goes through some of her own problems, and by the way she handles the situation you can see how maturely she faces them. Patrick is Sam’s half brother, a gay boy who is always getting made fun of. He gets bullied a lot and faces various obstacles because of his sexuality. He’s a fun and caring character. Both of these characters are so brilliantly described in the novel. We can really hear both of their stories through a story about Charlie.
This book is wonderful at describing all of Charlie’s problems. The author writes and makes them seem real. Charlie struggles with depression in the novel, and the author does a good job at putting us in the mind of a teenager with that. One thing that led to depression is the significant Aunt Helen. She was killed in a car accident when she was on her way to buy Charlie his present. Ever since the death, Charlie felt responsible for it. He remembers Aunt Helen and him having a strong bond, and always talks about how much he misses her. “ And maybe it’s just the fact that we loved Aunt Helen, especially me…” Charlie says as he writes about her death. We get to see just how much Aunt Helen impacted his life.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower takes you into Charlie’s mind and his opinion on things. This great book has been #1 bestseller on The New York Times, and it was even made into a major motion picture! There has been more than half a million copies sold, due to its immense popularity with teenagers. This beautiful coming of age story will show you the effects of depression. Reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower will leave you in a thrilling whirlwind of emotions.


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