Goodreads’ synopsis : “I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they’re here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day…or wondering who did the heart breaking and wondering why.”
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.
I wasn’t expecting that at all. I started this book without knowing too much about it, except that the main character was called Charlie and that he was a teenage boy.
Charlie is a freshman who overthinks and over analyzes everything. One day he becomes friend with Sam and her brother Patrick. This changes totally his life.
Charlie is a peculiar teen. He analyzes everything with a distant coldness. He is more a spectator of his own life than an actor. But I think everyone of us felt like him at least once in our life. The heavy feeling that you don’t belong with your friends, that you’re numbly watching passing your life in front of your very eyes.
We accept the love we think we deserve.
The way the story is told, through letters to an unknown “good man” is great and original. I really like it. I would have liked to know who that mysterious good man was. Maybe there were hints, and I didn’t get them ?
But despite the story being told in first person, I felt disconnected. Which means it was harder for me to get into the story. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, not at all. It’s just that I really like to feel like I’m surrounded by the book’s universe and not just watching it from above.
The ending really shocked me, I wasn’t expecting something of that kind. Not at all.
– I talked a lot about Charlie so I will just add this : he is doing his best not to disappoint his new friends.
– Sam is Charlie’s crush, she is a loyal friend. She blames Charlie for doing things the wrong way, but sometimes she isn’t clear herself.
– Patrick seems like a rock, the tough one. But he is also fragile and has to deal with his pain. To be honest I didn’t like the way he used Charlie. He sees him when he needed a friend, a shoulder to lean on but when everything was alright he tended to forget him.
And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It’s beautifully written and the characters feel real.
He is the recipient of the Abraham Polonsky Screenwriting Award for his screenplay Everything Divided as well as a participant in the Sundance Institute’s filmmakers’ lab for his current project, Fingernails and Smooth Skin. Chbosky lives in New York.