The Perks of Being A Wallflower

I will admit it, the reason why I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower is because I am really looking forward to the movie adaptation that is coming out in theaters next year.

Even though I was motivated by that reason, I still am happy that I read the book.  Stephen Chbosky wrote, what I thought, to be a really good book to read since it seemed to be a fast paced read.

The reason why it was a fast paced read is that Chbosky managed to create a story that I believe that pretty much anyone can relate to.

We see the main protagonist, Charlie, growing out of his introverted personality through a series of letters written to someone simply called “friend.”

These letters have a mixture of present tense and past tense settings that make them really interesting.  Chbosky makes the letters be pretty much chapters in themselves with how the start of them seem to set up the situation, the body of the letter than transports us into a flashback, and then the ending of the story of course wraps it up.

With how Chbosky has Charlie write the letters, it was nice having Charlie tell a series of stories of what he and his friends did during his freshman year of high school.  We also see how Charlie is still dealing with the loss his aunt who was very important in his life.

Probably the thing that is the most interesting about this book is that it was published in 1999 and the setting is in the fall of 1991 through 1992.  With the setting year, it is very interesting to see some of the issues that pop up in the book.  Mainly the fact that we see how Patrick deals with being gay and being in a relationship with a guy who is to afraid to out them self.

Also, I would imagine that some schools that have attempted to have this book as part of their curriculum, they probably ran into a problem of censorship since I can see parents having issues with their children reading something that has a wide range of issues such as sexual orientation as well as drug use.

Yet, it is a really great thing that Chbosky put the wide verity of issues that teenagers in the 90s, as well as today still, in this book.  I believe that this book can be considered a timeless story since it does deal with issues that young adults are faced with; all though, the characters didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, or any other form of social media that adds more issues.

Probably what will make this book timeless or a classic, if it is ever considered one, is that Chbosky doesn’t offer any real solution through Charlie to help young adults.  Instead, Chbosky paints the picture that things will go on.  I believe that this is something really great about this book.

There aren’t adults solving problems or an abundance of adult supervision in a sense.  We do see Charlie’s family dynamic.  We also get a slight taste of how divorce life sometimes can’t be a bad thing since Patrick and Sam are step-siblings because of their parent’s former marriages.

I think that Chbosky has a really great piece here.


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