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

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

February 28, 2008
By Anonymous

“I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.” This is how the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower opens. The novel is written about a boy under the alias of Charlie. His experiences, triumphs, and emotional obstacles are documented in the form of letters to an anonymous person who he thought would listen and understand.

Charlie is a freshman in high school. His only friend, Michael, killed himself the previous year and it has left Charlie friendless and alone. Charlie also hasn't quit mourning over his Aunt Helen's death, for he feels responsible. His English teacher recognizes how bright he is and gives him some highly prestigious books to read and write a report on. He also encourages him to try to get out there and “participate”. Charlie goes to the homecoming football game and watches all the couples and it becomes clear to the reader that Charlie really is a wallflower; he is the kind of person who just thinks and watches everything from the sidelines. He befriends two seniors Patrick and his stepsister Sam, and is introduced to their group of friends who expose him to some underground music, art, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Charlie expresses his feelings by saying things like, “I feel infinite.” In my opinion, that simple line is very moving and sticks in my mind. You watch Charlie experiment with relationships and drugs, and see him eventually get out on the dance floor.

I think this book portrays how important friends are when you are in your vulnerable teenage years. Charlie loves his friends as much as life itself. This is a teenage kid who wears his heart on his sleeve; you feel the surge of love and rejection as he goes through it.
This novel is stellar, it's as if you can see into Charlie's soul. It's written a lot like a regular book, it's easy to forget that it is all a letter. When I read this book I became intoxicated in Charlie's world. The way that he describes his thoughts and takes on events you feel as if you were right there. I really think that the Perks of Being a Wallflower is for everyone teenage and up. Everyone can get something different out of this book. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the best accounts of a high school boy realizing the joy and pain of life.

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