Author: Stephen Chbosky
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Romance
See it at Goodreads
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.
“It's strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower will hold a special place in my heart for the rest of my life, that I’m sure. I think perhaps it’s one of the best books I’ve picked up in a long time, and will most definitely be re-read and recommended to others constantly for many years to come. It's also Banned Books Week, and what better time to talk about this wonderful book than now? Perks has been on banned/challenged lists almost every year since its publication. (see the lists and find out what other books have been constantly banned or challenged)
I didn’t really have high expectations going into this book really. I’ve seen so much hype built around it and through the years, have been wary at picking it up. Now I’m sitting back and asking myself why I took so long. I could’ve easily loved and related with this book thirteen years ago at its release as much as I do now.
My biggest connection is to Charlie. He reminded me so much of myself that it was a bit uncanny at times. I was also a bit of a loner in high school, aspirations of writing, a book worm, I found a mentor through a teacher as well, never real close to my family, etc. I was a wallflower. I observed people. I still like to sit back and observe. The few friends I did make back then were older also. I fully admit to even drinking more than I should have and taking part in some recreational activities during my high school years. So yeah, at times, I felt a real kinship to Charlie and his crew while reading. Perks was realistic and raw. I laughed, I cried…I could not stop turning the pages. I connected to this book in more ways than I could count.
What I really liked best about reading was the way it was written in the style of letters. The reader never truly knows who Charlie is writing to exactly, but by the end, can make their own assumptions. Is it a random stranger? A family member? An old friend? I quite liked this. It’s also such a quotable book. I find myself always thinking of favorite quotes already, and it’s only been a few weeks since I’ve read it.
“It's strange to describe reading a book as a really great experience, but that's kind of how it felt.”
And that my friends, sums it up perfectly. I have no other words for how much I loved this book. If you haven’t read it, read it. I can’t recommend it enough.
**YA, but mature due to sex, drugs, and language.**
With the recent movie release, there came a new cover of course. The movie tie-in edition, and this is the edition I own. Normally, I'm not a fan of these covers, but this is a different case. I adore the movie poster cover for Perks much better than the original (which I admit not to liking much at all to begin with really). What do you think? Yes or no to the new cover...or stick with the old?
(new is on the left, original is on the right)