The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

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This was a fantastic read and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Once I picked up this novel I just couldn’t put it down until I knew what was happening. I was trapped in this story for days, until I found out Charlie’s Story.

Charlie is quiet, an unpopular boy in school but soon makes friends with an unlikely crowd. He writes his story down in the form of letters and changes the names of his friends so this person he is writing to won’t know the exact truth. He sends these letters to this specific person because he feels they will understand and identify with his feelings.

I really enjoyed reading this book and its structure of letters as it made it personal from Charlie; however I was also aware that this made the novel from Charlie’s perspective and his friend’s images and words were altered from his memory. On this note I wondered if his friends were getting an honest portrayal in the plot. Anyway I really liked the characters in this book and diversity of each of them, I felt that there was a great mix of characters in this book and it made it fun and addictive to read. Charlie documents each characters own story whilst writing about his own so we hear about Sam’s, Mary Elizabeth’s, Patrick’s and somehow all of their stories add to Charlie’s and intertwine to make a complicated and amazing plot.

This book really flew me back to growing up in school and the colourful people that surrounded you, the dramas and the learning curve of everyday. It’s a real coming of age story and it doesn’t just look at the relationship, first kiss aspect that many young adult novels channel, it looks at all of the experiences of high school, even the darker moments. For much of this novel I questioned Charlie’s mental state as he seems withdrawn in moments and anxious, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him at times.

I find this novel very charming and Chbosky captures so much in a well written memory. As soon as I started reading this novel I was glued to the pages, it was easy to read, hard to set down and in places it felt like an exploration of the mind as Charlie tried to process his experiences and feelings.

However many people look at this book like marmite, you either love it or hate and an intermediate review is hard to find so I understand this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I would suggest giving it a go though, I gave it 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads and I can honestly see it being a reread later in the year.

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