The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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 year 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 mix 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 he can't stay on the sidelines 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.

'Charlie' begins writing letters to someone simply known as 'friend'. He wants to remain anonymous, he provides no return address and names and places have been changed to protect his identity. Charlie is an intellect, he is emotional, over analyses every aspect of his life. He doesn't have any friends, is socially awkward and seems to be a rather special boy.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is told through a series of letters penned by Charlie, to this 'friend'. He writes about losing a former friend to teen suicide, his penchant for panic crying when deep in thought and the introduction of new friends  brother and sister duo Sam and Patrick, as they open Charlie up to a world of laughter, dating and pot smoking brandy parties. Charlie has a reflective and intellectual old soul, he is beyond his years, but his nativity is astonishing. Charlie lives his life through watching others, reading books, but never participating.

As Charlie explores new friendships, his sexuality, falling in love and living life, he'll discover that there may have been a reason that he was happy to let life pass him by.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower was entertaining, Charlie is a breath of fresh air. He's quirky, strange and even adorable. Most of his written letters are borderline rambling and thinking out loud almost. He always writes what he thinks, but never has the nerve to say it.

I liked Charlie, at times I wondered perhaps if he was autistic. Intelligent beyond his years, but struggled with life beyond his academic abilities and retrospective thoughts. It was more than your average coming of age novel, it was one special boy, discovering his place in the world.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Written By Stephen Chbosky
Published: 29 / 06 / 2010
213 Pages 

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