“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.”
It’s hard to put into words why I liked this book–because to tell you honestly, I was never intrigued enough to pick up the book. Reading the synopsis, nothing really jumps out–especially after reading John Green novels. The novel definitely seemed like something John Green would write. Now that I’ve read it though, I’m glad I picked the book up. Because it is amazing.
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is written in first person. In letter form. And I was really close to just giving up on the book and writing it off as just another coming-of-age young adult novel–and then I read that line. And I don’t know what it is about that line, but I feel as if it captures the essence of being a teenager–without the pretensions, without the superiority, without trying too hard to be now.
That’s what it’s like to be a teenager. A moment of infinity. Then suddenly, I was able to connect to Charlie. I was able to feel for Patrick. And I fell in love with Sam.
Suddenly, I was one of them.
Of all the coming-of-age novels I’ve read, I think this is the first one that was able to nail what it’s like to be a teenager for everyone–regardless of the when.
And that, I think, is why I loved the book.
I apologize if you thought this was going to be a cohesive reaction to the book. There are a lot of blogs out there though that reviewed the Perks of Being a Wallflower. Here are some of them: