By: McKenzie Welch
‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ is a young adult fiction novel written by Stephen Chbosky that is set up in the form of multiple letters being sent to an anonymous recipient. It covers the course of Charlie’s life through his freshman year of high school, with Charlie being the author of the many handwritten notes.
Charlie has lived as a loner for most of his life. He has never really had friends, but he’s always been okay with that because he’s never had the experience of having a loving community of people around him, besides his family.
The novel explored issues between family members as well. It was clear that other members of the family were struggling, and the novel displayed how relationships can form tension when there is a lack
of communication. This can be relatable to real life, as there are often times when people feel as though others are not understanding them, which can place stress on the connection they have.
My favorite part about the novel was that it explored how friends, and the ability to be yourself around these people, impact an individual’s quality of life. Charlie met a group of people who, although they were two to three years older, accepted him exactly for who he was. This was something that Charlie had never experienced before, but learning how to be a friend to others was an adventure that helped him learn and grow as a person, and he also got to discover more about himself and his personality.
Although many of these topics seem heartwarming, in reality the topics that this novel deals with are heavy at times. There are situations that make it difficult for other characters to smile, but everyone helps each other through it all.
All in all, I give this book 5/5 stars. I felt as though writing the novel in the form of letters was something new and unexpected, and it kept the book captivating for me. I also really enjoyed that it explored both the positives and negatives of growing up, as life isn’t always perfect.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something to read that is more applicable to real life. However, I strongly suggest that anyone planning to read this novel reads the trigger warnings first, as many of the events that happen are heavy and at times difficult to get through.