Sophya's Reviews > The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
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Apr 17, 12

Read from March 20 to April 17, 2012

Poignant and direct, Chbosky's honest narrative captures the reader instantly, making Charlie, the protagonist, seem completely real to us. Comparisons have been drawn to "The Catcher in the Rye" (which, actually, is why I picked up this book) and while you can certainly see the similarities, Charlie is not a modern Holden Caulfield, but rather a character in his own right.

The story is epistolary - told through the medium of letters, written by Charlie to an unspecified "you"; the reader, to whom he refuses to disclose his real name or the names of those around him for fear of anyone finding out who he is. This narrative technique cleverly involves the reader, making them feel as though Charlie is writing specifically to them.

Charlie takes us through his first year at high school, introducing us to his friends and sharing his thoughts. The pains of growing up are interwoven with an underlying, far more deep-seated pain as Charlie battles with mental illness. Chbosky's novel is thought-provoking and scarily relateable. It is both a fiction and a truth.
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