Book Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I started reading this book as soon as I finished reviewing The Fault In Our Stars. I have this goal to read as many short pocket books, not longer than 400 pages, before the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series comes out. I’ve been wanting to read this since early last year but due to my line up of books I just couldn’t give this book a second look. But now that I did I have to say I enjoyed reading it. It’s a coming of age novel with a twist.
It’s a short story written on a personal level being the author always tells it in first person in a form of friend letters. The letters often about how the whole day went by or the whole week or the whole month. It can even contain a few incites on retrospect. It always starts with “Dear friend”. This is particularly new to me. It’s not an author trying to be omnipresent or omniscient about everything that goes on inside the book nor is it someone who would tell you why the other characters actually did or said anything. It really depended on the author’s interpretation and natural instincts and the main character had more than enough. I guess the author of the book focused on someone with more than enough sensitivity to almost always accurately decipher a certain character’s reason for anything at all. But in itself, the character isn’t portrayed as someone who’s witty or talkative. The main character is simply conscious about everything save for himself. You can say he’s an innocent child trapped in a teenager’s body but that would be oversimplifying things. You’d even go as far as think he was autistic which he isn’t but you would think that way at the start for sure. I know I did.
What is this book about? Simply put this book is about someone who’s afraid to live life to the fullest or at least be exposed to it. I can’t tell you anything more about this save for the fact that the main character isn’t mentally sick. He’s a wallflower which is defined as someone who knows stuff but can’t handle attention although he or she need it as much as everyone else does. You can also term them socially awkward people or introverts.
What I like about this book is that the main characters shows you how he seems to be growing up simply with the way he writes letters to you. I particularly like this sort of things. I think I read something like this somewhere but I can’t quite put my finger on it. And as he grows up, the reader is introduced to the things a common teenager normally does not talk about with anyone else such as overdosing on LSD or smoking bags of hemp. Not to mention how he talks about masturbating or sex and how he has this tendency to over think on such things. I guess the main character only does things on the basis of how it would benefit him. There is even this one part where he simply smoked a whole box of cigarettes because it makes his problems go away for a reason he doesn’t really know.
I like the way this book portrays a bunch of teenagers as heroes or future leaders despite their imperfections in the eyes of society. Truth be told, this book can offend anyone without a certain sense of maturity or lack thereof. But it is because it was written in such a way that made this book quite an interesting read. The teenagers were written in a way that they’re literally living their last days of being young adults because most of them would only be a few months away from going to different colleges and they would have to face the fact that they will rarely have these days once they start. The book was definitely fed on how these young people lived a carefree and careless life. The story shows that having fun is not about being immature but rather about realizing how little we all have left in this world to enjoy life to the fullest with people you can actually say you are ready to die with. Reading this book made me realize that being a grown-up in highschool was the immature thing to do. You’re only young for so many years after all. Society takes our youth away from us even before our own coming of age. And we shouldn’t let it happen.
The Perks of being a Wallflowers pays tribute to the youth that we all lost not just because of the demands of society for maturity but also due to our brittle conviction in maintaining that youthful spirit we all traded in to be accepted as adults. This book will make the readers realize just how important they are to someone even though they seem to not see themselves as otherwise. This book is very personal yet it caters to anyone who reads it.
P.S. My favorite quote:
So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.