(The Perks of Being a Wallflower – A Review)
Has there ever been a moment in your life, when you felt ‘infinite’? If the first thing that flashed in your head was the thought of three teenagers driving through a tunnel, ocean waves, and lights downtown, I know you’ve read ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’!
A simple, powerfully written, enthralling book about growing up, it moved me to tears, with its sheer brilliance. Written by Stephen Chbosky, in the year, 1999, it seems fresh and captivating, even 14 years later.
A simple, yet, haunting book, it provokes the imagination and wonder of the reader. Being a heartfelt story about growing up and the emotional and physical trauma that adolescents encounter, it has been written surprisingly bluntly. It takes the reader into the world of Charlie, the main character, who narrates his story through a series of letters, whose receiver’s identity remains a mystery. In fact, there is no mention of Charlie’s family name, no mention of places, and is, all-in-all, very mysterious, which leaves the reader wondering what might have been the reaction of the person who Charlie addresses his letters to.
The reader is taken for a roller-coaster ride through the obscure world of high school, through first dates, family crises, through loneliness, friendship, sex, drugs, and music.
Every time that I read a book, I can always point out my favorite character. In this book, however, the characters seem more real, and I cannot pick any single person. In fact, they seem so real to me, that I found myself wishing I could meet them, and live through the life-changing experiences that they live through, in the book. The story has a marvelous hint of suspense throughout it, and it kept me guessing. I couldn’t find the strength to put down the book, when bedtime arrived much faster than usual, and I found myself reading under the covers, in minimum light. That’s how gripping I found the book.
My favorite part of the book, which I have to shed a dim light on, has to be the part where Charlie mentions how he feels “infinite”. I cannot explain to you what it means, if you haven’t read the book; It’s the kind of feeling you understand when you’re so engrossed in something, that nothing else seems to make sense anymore.
By the end of the book, I was in tears. There were tears of sadness, joy, delight at having read something so mind-numbing and beautiful, the feeling of being “infinite”-It was ALL THERE!
The only complaint that I had against the author was, that the book ended too soon. Although, it wasn’t an abrupt end, I couldn’t help wishing there was more to something as breathtaking as this.
If you are an adolescent, embarking on the journey of the teenage years, or if you are a teenager, this book is a MUST read. Whether you are a boy, or a girl, read it. I assure you, you will feel “infinite” at the end, especially if you are an avid reader, like I am.
If I had to rate it, I’d give it: 10/10, for the plot, the writing style, for the usage of grammar, and for a lovely gift to humanity.