by Kathleen Schipano
Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
If you are looking for a teen novel to read, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is an excellent choice.
In recent years teen literature has gotten a bad rap, being called vapid and pandering. Too many vampire novels will do that to a genre. The Perks of Being a Wallflower challenges that.
Chbosky gives an astoundingly honest perspective on what it is like to be an outsider. Any one who has ever sat alone at lunch, held up a wall at a dance or felt like they were living someone else’s idea of what their life should be can relate to this story and it’s vivid characters.
“Perks” is about Charlie, a boy who has a sweet disposition and a troubled mind, and his first year of high school. The story is told through a series of letters Charlie writes to an anonymous recipient. Through these letters readers find out about his life, his family, his unique group of friends, and his insightful perception of his world around him.
Between performances of Rock Horror Picture Show to late night meals at The Big Boy, Charlie, Patrick, Sam and their small group of misfits have many conversations about music, family, love and society.
What makes this book so great is the way it is written. When you read it you do not think what I often think when reading teen literature:
“This is a thirty-something-year-old man trying to relate to a freshman in high school through slang he found on Google.”
Chbosky makes you believe that Charlie is real, that he is that quiet boy sitting in the back of class. He is believably strange and it makes the novel all the more powerful.
This best selling novel has recently been made into a film and should be released to most theaters in a few weeks.
This best selling novel is available in the St. James library.