The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age novel by Stephen Chbosky and was published in 1999. The whole book is a series of letters written by our protagonist Charlie to someone whose identity is not disclosed throughout the book. But we know that he listens and understands and didn't try to sleep with that person at the party even though he could have.
This is the story of Charlie, a freshman in high school. He is a wallflower. A wallflower is a shy or excluded person at a dance or a party. Charlie blames himself for the death of his aunt and after a terrible incident with his best friend last year things are not great. Charlie trying to participate but no one seems to notice him. He meets Patrick a funny and life-loving personality and his step-sister Sam who has so great taste in music, it can ruin you. Both are seniors at the same school and from there a beautiful story of friendship takes off.
For me, the best thing about this book is its characters. I could connect on some level with all the characters and how is this possible? I have no idea. Be it Charlie, Patrik, Sam, Alice, Elizabeth, Bob or Brad every character is so different from the other but what holds all these characters is that they are all trying to figure out their lives. Arné we all? When I read it I actually felt that a fifteen-year-old is writing his heart out in a letter in the hope that someone, in some corner of the world understands him. The book discusses so many important topics teens or in general people go through in a simple way filled with innocence. This book talks about depression, anxiety, sexuality, teenage pregnancy, toxic relationships, and more. Before you get me wrong and think that this is one hell of a depressing book I want to add that it talks about all such things through friendship, how right people can get us through all the disasters of the world.
You want me to tell you another great this about this book? It's only 213 pages long. The language is simple. If you are a regular reader you can finish it in one sitting. This is one of the books I keep going back to. Now, I don't have a list of top 10 or top 20 books you should read in your life-time but this is the book I feel everyone should at least once. And even if you are not an introvert, read it for the person you next time see standing alone at a party.
“We didn't talk about anything heavy or light. We were just there together. And that was enough”
―Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower