The perks of being a wallflower
Hello and welcome to The Young Reader's Review! Before starting this new review, I just wanted to say that 9 days ago (4th of June), was the one year anniversary of this blog! It’s also spectacular because this blog has got almost 2 000 total views, which for me, is enormous. So I just wanted to say
Returning to my current review, I reluctantly decided not too long ago to take a break from all the well-known classics. So I went to the bookstore, and bought myself a book that has come out rather recently and that I’ve heard only positive things about: The perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
This book is an epistolary novel, in which the main character, Charlie, writes letters about his everyday life to a friend that we know nothing about. If I understood correctly, he doesn’t even send the letters to this friend. Anyhow, we never hear about this friend’s response. I think that the choice of this form of story is interesting and changes from the majority of other young adult books. The fact that we are reading letters also creates this bond, this intimacy between the reader and Charlie. We can also see how Charlie evolves during the story because his writing style slightly changes during the story. In the beginning he writes short, simple phrases, which can even be frustrating, and at the end he writes longer phrases and uses commas. I think that this is due to the fact that not only Charlie is a different person at the end of the book, but also because simply, he says that his teacher, Bill, who is a very important person for Charlie, points out that he could develop his phrases more.
So, now for the plot. Charlie…is not your ordinary fifteen year old. Well, he’s a wallflower; he is shy and rather lonely and unsociable. He observes with detail and with thought everything around him. He also questions everything too. For example, when he’s writing about when he watched a movie with his family, he writes almost one page contemplating why the movie’s main character wasn’t another character. His peculiar nature is also felt by his way of writing, which is why Stephen Chbosky did an amazing job making us feel that. At first, the style of writing annoyed me, but after a while, not only do you get accustomed to it, but you also realize that the writing represents how Charlie’s mind works.
Coming back to Charlie, he is a very intelligent boy who has two friends: Sam, a girl who Charlie is in love with, and Patrick. They are both seniors meanwhile Charlie is a freshman. He is also friends with Bill, his English teacher, who is the only one in this story who seems to acknowledge how smart Charlie is. He gives him regularly classic books to read and then asks Charlie to write book reports about them, because he wants to push Charlie since he is one of a kind. Perhaps Charlie’s writing style also improves because of this.
But, we also realize that Charlie may have some mental issues. I won’t talk too much about this because the reader can only deduce this because of small implicit details. Like for example, he is extremely sensitive and cries many time during the story and he has difficulty expressing his own emotions. He has a lot of guilt and constantly blames himself for minor things. He is also easily manipulated by numerous characters in the story. At the end, the cause of this mental unbalance is unraveled.
The writing style, the lack of emotion and the way the story and the writing gradually change until an abrupt end, couldn’t help but remind me of The Stranger by Albert Camus (If you haven’t, go check out my review on that book!). Charlie also briefly talks about this book and says that it is one of his favorite books. Coincidental? Who knows?
I have to admit that I didn’t really know what to expect from this book. At the beginning I thought that the writing style was too simple and monotonous. But thankfully, I continued reading this story and realized that this was all done on purpose. I found that it was really intelligent to have written this book in letters and to make Charlie’s writing evolve with Charlie himself. The perks of being a wallflower is one of the best new books I have read in a while and I enjoyed it quite a lot even though the unexpected ending destroyed all of my emotions. I strongly recommend this book to anyone really, since the writing is simple, so anybody can understand it, but the ideas are interesting enough for adults.
That is it for this review! I hoped that you liked it and that you will rush to the bookstore to get this unique book! Don’t forget to like and share this blogpost, and to subscribe to my Google + account! See you next time! (´･ω･`)