I’m really bad with doing summaries without giving away to much so I will use the one already on the book !
“Charlie is a freshman and while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way 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. But Charlie can’t stay on the side-line forever. 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. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.”
Stephen Chbosky published the book in early February 1999 and adapted/directed a movie version of it in 2012 starring Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller. I saw the movie before reading the book, way before, and for once I wasn’t upset a bit and it really didn’t influence my perception and the feeling I felt during my reading. Which I’m hella glad!
About the book now, if you want to see the movie, go ! (But please come back after to tell me how it was!) As you all know (if not, here you go:) I’m a woman. And reading a book with the point of view of a young man is really exciting for me and quite unsettling (in a good way) but still really interesting. What I really enjoyed is the fact that the structure of the book is a series of letters addressed to an unknown “friend”, it helps to capture the reader’s attention because he gets the feeling that he is Charlie’s friend and that he’s part of a special relationship with the character. Plus, the book is really easy and pleasant to read thanks to the major use of an informal vocabulary.
What’s worth mentioning in this review is the abundance of themes evocated in the novel. As revealed in the summary, the story deals with love (straight AND gay relationships), friendship, becoming an adult and leaving childhood, music and books (take notes of Charlie’s music recommendations! He’s good.), and lots of feelings! Charlie’s an outcast, he’s human, he’s real in his speeches and makes mistakes in his choices. If you had the chance of enjoying the same exciting and glorious teenage years I experienced, you will relate to his story more than expected.
And without this book, I have to say that I never would have watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show!
Trust me, this book is a nice treat for the mind. Love it or hate it, that’s up to you, but it will bring out some memories for sure! Funny and light, sometimes serious, I will not hesitate to read it again!
I’ll leave it here for now, ending with some of my favorite quotes :
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
“Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”
“Everyone else is either asleep or having sex. I’ve been watching cable television and eating jello.”