This novel is most likely on your radar now, more than ever. Though it was published in 1999, The Perks of Being a Wallflower has remained on so many “favourite books” lists throughout the years. I first heard of it in first year university from a friend in my dorm. It sounded a bit sad, and I passed on it for a few more years. Three weeks ago, my friend and fellow booklover, Natalie, wrote a glowing review, and then my boss insisted I read it — so I finally picked it up.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, though a short book, is a powerful one. In just over 200 pages, Stephen Chbosky addresses a multitude of issues such as rape, abuse, mental illness and more. His narrator, Charlie, fills the pages with letters to a friend, unknown to the reader and chronicles the events of himself, his family and his two friends, Sam and Patrick. His over-analyzing mind, combined with a tremendous capacity for sympathy and love makes you root for Charlie all the way through. You want him to be happy, to succeed and ultimately, to find his place in the world.
Though not easy on the emotions, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an eye-opening, heartbreaking and honest read, told with a tender voice and a warm heart. Before seeing the movie, you definitely must read the book!