I recently read all 256 pages of Stephen Chbosky‘s The Perks of Being a Wallflower for my English Composition class and I must say, this was a pretty great book. The main character, Charlie, recently lost his friend Michael, due to suicide. To cope with the stress, he began to write letters to a kind stranger. Charlie is a sophomore in high school, and he befriends his English teacher, Bill, who eventually becomes his mentor. After meeting Bill, he decides to step out of his comfort zone and make a couple of friends, Sam and Patrick. They’re step-siblings, and the trio eventually become inseparable. Throughout the school year, Charlie goes on his first date, tries drinking, plays around with some drugs and makes and loses a couple more friends. He even creates his own “mixtape” full of amazing music, and reads a couple books. His new friends brought out a side of him that he never even knew of. His at-home life was pretty stable, until he finds out about an appalling family secret which results in hospitalization for Charlie, due to a severe mental breakdown. He writes another letter to his “friend” in hopes of being discharged from the hospital and forgiving his aunt Helen (she was the reason he had the mental breakdown), and making more friends. Charlie has hopes of actually being active in his own life instead of just letting it pass him by.
“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
I really enjoyed this story because I could relate to Charlie’s life. In high school, I was shy just like he was. I was also a Wallflower. The only thing that I didn’t like about this story was that it wasn’t longer! This book was so good that I read it in two days. I would’ve loved for Charlie to meet the person he was writing letters to, but the fact that he didn’t made the story even better. The letters that Charlie wrote were so realistic, I felt like I was the one writing them! Props to Steven Chbosky for such a great book.
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
I loved this book. Five stars from me.