Janet's Reviews > The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
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Aug 06, 12

Read from July 29 to August 06, 2012

I had The Perks of Being a Wallflower on my to read list for years now; since it first came out in fact. The book was published in 1999 when I was still in college. Part of me wishes I had read it then, at the height of my own coming of age, but I digress. When I saw that it was finally being made into a film I realized that the novel was beckoning me to read it, for better or worse, before the film came out and made my casting decisions for me.

Even though I'm removed from that time in my life, I still think there is a lot of beautiful literature that comes from coming of age stories. I like the fresh perspective that characters in coming of age novels so innocently portray and admire the writer who, more often than not, is no longer at on the cusp of their own coming of age either. They just remain rather in tune with the angst and discovery of that time period somehow, someway. Then again, don't we all remember those times with nausea or nostalgia?

The other great thing about coming of age stories for me is that they are timeless. Although the names and places change, the feelings are, in large part, rather the same. The Perks of Being a Wallflower reminded me of when I first read Catcher In the Rye back in high school. I'd like to imagine some high school students of today reading this book and identifying with it for the very same reasons.

The story itself is pretty much what you'd expect given the title. Charlie, our narrator, is a wise beyond his years teenager who is living life from the outside looking in, observing others self discoveries albeit, discovering himself in the process. The message to me is there's value in being a wallflower. As a self-proclaimed wallflower I say that with certainty.:)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was what some might call a quick and easy read, but it's a satisfying one at that. Now I'm curious to see how the film adaptation will turn out.
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