Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Review: The Perks of being a Wallflower

Title: The Perks of being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Published: 1999
Pages: 214
My Rating: 4.5/5

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as 
growing up.

I've been sitting here for the past ten minutes, really trying to decide what to write about this book. First of all, I have to say that it was fantastic, and I absolutely loved it. It reminded me of other books that I've read and loved like Looking for Alaska. But I'm really struggling with how to structure this review, so just bare with me on this one. 

This book is written through anonymous letters to a stranger by a high-school boy called Charlie. It's clear very soon that this isn't just your run of the mill 'awkward-guy-likes-girl-in-high-school'. It's obvious that Charlie has inner demons and looks at the world in a very unique way. The writing, for one, shows all his thoughts about people, situations and events in his special way. It's written in very short, simple and to-the-point sentences, and this is what makes it shine. Even with the short to-the-point sentences, there is just enough detail, and brilliantly worded out descriptions to make you truly get what Charlie is telling you.  

Charlie's narration is very blunt, but innocent at the same time. He is incredibly selfless in the way he writes. He's always thinking and worrying about other people, even while he is suffering himself. There are different aspects about him that everyone in some way will find relatable. You also can't help but love him. He is so innocent and loving, and hardly any of the characters even come off that badly because he doesn't think of them in too hateful ways. It's almost like he can't because the biggest enemy he has is his-self.

As for the other characters, what makes them so believable is that they are all very real. None of them are described in tiny detail, even some of the main characters. That is left for our imagination and how we choose to see them. Also, none of the characters are at all cliche and none of them are black-and-white bad or good. They all have their downsides and their upsides.

Overall, this book was just brilliant. It's possibly one of the most perfectly written coming-of-age books. It has all the themes and grounds covered really well. Made perfect from Charlie's lovable perspective. I certainly recommend it if you're into John Green books like Looking for Alaska, as I mentioned earlier. It should be essential to all people, old and young.    


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! :)