Book Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
Date Published: February 1999
Publisher: MTV books/Pocket books
# Of Pages: 213 pages
Synopsis: The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
.....For being a very good coming-of-age novel that I want my future kids to read
Okay, this had been on my TBR for a long long time. I never read it because I was never in the mood to read about high school issues. Reading challenges definitely help with the motivation, I guess.
I really enjoyed this novel, and the ending really surprised me, especially since my knowledge of mental disorders is practically slim to none, and I didn't recognize the signs for what they were.
I loved the characters in this novel. Sam, Patrick, Charlie, they're all very well done. As an adult, I sometimes get annoyed reading about teenage problems, but the problems these kids experience were written very well. The writing style seems mechanic and toneless at first, but the descriptions of what is going on in these kids' lives are so intricate, that you get sucked in and you want to find out what happens next.
If I had one complaint, it's that there are almost too many serious teen issues in this novel. The book is only 213 pages, yet there's suicide, multiple counts of drug abuse, rapes, abortion, child molestation, parent abuse, closeted homosexuality, .... it goes on and on. Every high school has students who have experienced at least one of these issues, and maybe I was too goody-goody and sheltered that I didn't notice all of them, but I don't remember there being so many problems at my high school.
This is a good book that I do want my future kids to eventually read someday. There's a strong The Catcher in the Rye influence, but I think I enjoyed this book better (it's been a long time since I read The Catcher in the Rye however, I think I should read that book again soon).
If you've been like me, and keeping this book on your TBR shelf for years, you should definitely take it off this shelf now. It's worth reading, even if you don't like it as much as I did. If you are currently a teenager, you should really read this, because there are lessons to learn in this book. Strongly recommended.