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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – Honest And Insightful. Astounding.

July 10, 2011

What is most notable about this funny, touching, memorable first novel from Stephen Chbosky is the resounding accuracy with which the author captures the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood. Charlie is a freshman. And whiles hes not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Hes a wallflower–shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age, and gender, a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teens story. Charlie encounters the same struggles that many kids face in high school–how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs–but he must also deal with his best friends recent suicide. Charlies letters take on the intimate feel of a journal as he shares his day-to-day thoughts and feelings:

I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why theyre here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. Its like looking at all the students and wondering whos had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why. With the help of a teacher who recognizes his wisdom and intuition, and his two friends, seniors Samantha and Patrick, Charlie mostly manages to avoid the depression he feels creeping up like kudzu. When it all becomes too much, after a shocking realization about his beloved late Aunt Helen, Charlie retreats from reality for awhile. But he makes it back in due time, ready to face his sophomore year and all that it may bring. Charlie, sincerely searching for that feeling of being infinite, is a kindred spirit to the generation thats been slapped with the label X. –Brangien Davis

Honest And Insightful. Astounding.
Stephen Chboskys mind is intricate, yet simple. In Perks, he uses the character of Charlie to show the readers the honest mind of your average freshman. The catch is, Charlie isnt average. This book will bring into a world of drugs, sex, and death and the things Charlie goes through in high school. Ive never read a book where I felt so connected to the main character. I recommend this book to anyone who has experienced high school or has ever had a moment that made them feel infinite.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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