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.
Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky’s haunting debut novel has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, grown into a cult phenomenon with over a million copies in print, and inspired a major motion picture.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
I listened to this one as an audiobook, I’m not sure if that’s what made me absolutely love the book or if it was the writing. Probably a mixture of both. But, I’m going to review the audio version, because…well, it’s what I “read”. 😉
At first I didn’t know what was going on – since I didn’t have the book in front of me, I didn’t realize that it was written entirely in letters. So the first letter had me completely confused. Then I got into it. I think if I was reading it, I would have gotten bored because nothing ever really happens, it’s just this boy going on about his life and all these little random things. But when it’s being read to you, by a narrator that does it *just so*, Charlie is endearing and lovable, and I just wanted to hug him.
The book is set in the 1991/92 school year and follows Charlie’s first year of high school. He’s a very sensitive boy (he cried, a lot), and pretty clueless (as any 15-year-old can be). The things he goes through and the decisions he makes are laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreaking at the same time. There are several “adult” themes in this book – sex, drugs, sexual orientation, rape/molestation, among others.
The ending reveals a shock that I didn’t see coming – even though I’d read quasi-spoilers that had mentioned it, I’d forgotten them because I was so engrossed in the narration of the book.
To me, this book is a heartwarming story of a young boy coming into his own, a must-read for everyone! (But I really recommend the audiobook version…)
My Rating: 5 stars