Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
Re-reading this brought back so many fond memories of the novel itself. I first read this when I was entering my teenage years so to reflect on it now, almost a decade later (feels weird saying that) is going to be an interesting view.
This novel is perfect for those of that age, or those that are looking to rediscover the most nerve-wrecking years of your life. Charlie is very innocent, lonely, quiet, an introvert that just wants a friend and company. We learn his views as he begins to be introduced to life at high school with the help of his new friends that are in their final year. Charlie has explored a lot of what most teenagers would usually explore one or two things or so but he has experienced most of it which is impressive. This novel is written in a way that is just so relatable to everyone reading it. Especially when you’re younger as you’re exploring your thoughts and questioning everything you come across.
We come across his first thoughts on all of this and it’s just interesting to see as he develops.
Things such as Charlie interpreting Craig: “Craig doesn’t really listen to her when she talks. I don’t mean that he’s a bad guy because he’s not. It’s just that he always looks distracted” but as Bill pointed out to Charlie earlier on, “we accept the love we think we deserve” or we tell ourselves we are used to it so we have to stick to it.
The rat and mouse experiment where they both put up with a lot more voltage in order to get pleasure more than food shows that we would do a lot more for pleasurable activities than for basic essential living.
I always get that hug version of a book feeling when I read this. I love how the book finds playlists and book lists for you to research and I thoroughly enjoyed how Charlie describes them as he makes tapes for Patrick.
One of my favourite parts of this novel is the lists! The playlists and the book lists we are introduced to. As well as the meanings of life such as “we accept the love we think we deserve”. I think the movie captures the novel greatly which I wouldn’t usually say. This is a coming-of-age read that everyone should read as it explores a lot of themes that goes on in the typical mind of a teenager.