The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Steven Chbosky
Reviewed by Mariah, age 16, Minnesota
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, is painful, yet brilliant. Charlie, a 15-year-old high school freshman (whom I could relate to at the time), writes his letter to the anonymous friend with great honesty. Charlie is an observer who describes his first teenage beer party and recalls some events of explicit nature he witnessed or heard about through the grapevine (rape, masturbation, homosexuality, etc.). Charlie makes friends with a tight group of Rocky Horror fans who experience love, sexuality, pot, and parties.
At first, toward the beginning of the book, I felt the story was a bit sappy. I was overwhelmed by Charlie's sympathy. It was like he was starring as a prized child in a '50's sitcom. After the first few chapters, I was won over by Charlie and his trials and tribulations. The story reached inside of me and gathered my thoughts about what it's like to be a teen loner.
Charlie has a way with words as he drives around with his friends in a pick-up truck. "I feel infinite," is Charlie's three-word response to a friend's question in the pick-up truck, and sums up how many of us feel while we are hanging out with our friends without a care in the world. You know the feeling.
Charlie also reads people like a book. "You take girls, for example. They're copying their moms and magazines and everything to know how to act around guys."
I enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower because it is real, not sugar-coated. It's like reading a printed version of Degrassi from Craig, Jane or Ashley's POV.
Final Thoughts: Hang in there until the end. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is well worth the read for anyone who is facing the events that result from your coming-of-age.
I give The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, 4 stars (of a possible 5).