Thursday, April 10, 2014

the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbrosky

Synopsis from

First published in 1999, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the aching, confusing, and glorious experience of being a teenager—all through the eyes, ears, and letters of the book’s narrator, Charlie. We don’t know where Charlie lives and we don’t know to whom he is writing. But Charlie’s haunting letters, addressed only to “Dear Friend,” bring readers straight to the heart of his struggles to fit in, to find the will to “participate” in life, and to cope with the realities of the larger world as he learns how to grow up.

My thoughts : 

This is one of several books I have read lately that use the epistolary format. I usually enjoy the format and in this instance I think it really fits well. At first I wondered who Charlie was writing to and then near the end, I decided it did not matter. Maybe he was writing to no one. I wonder if it was his way of "talking to someone", sharing what he couldn't share with his family or friends. Sometimes, it just helps to put your thoughts and feelings on paper.

I really liked Charlie and Sam and Patrick. Their characters were well thought out and developed. I understood the feelings of each of the characters.

I was really surprised at the ending. I did not see that coming, though as I look back it makes sense. No wonder Charlie had trouble asserting himself. The Perks of Being a Wallflower grapples with a universally complex and difficult part of growing up. It made me stop and try to remember all those years ago, and wonder what I should or could have done differently. 

Reading this book as a grandparent, I hope I listen to my grandchildren and encourage them to be present and to participate in life. To stand up for yourself and what you believe is right and above all to be honest with yourself and others.

I highly recommend this book to all parents or grandparents of adolescents. 

As an afterthought:  My first impression of the cover was that it was odd. Tiny font, in lower case on a basically blank background. Now I think it is inspired.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Though this book does not tell us where it's setting is, Charlie refers driving 2 hours to Ohio for Christmas. The author is from Pennsylvania so I am going to use Pennsylvania as it's setting.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful review! I've added this to my To Read list. Thanks.