There are some books that never get old and stay relevant even today and one such book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It is my favorite coming-of-age novel and I have lost count of the number of times that I’ve read this critically acclaimed phenomenon.
American writer Stephen Chbosky first published it in 1999 and many years later, wrote and directed the feature film adaptation of his novel. I haven’t watched the movie though.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for over two years. More than three million copies in print has been sold.
Set in early 1990’s, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is coming-of-age tale of Charlie, the main character or the ‘Wallflower’ in the novel. The story is based on series of letters written by Charlie to a stranger.
The book is a brilliant portrayal of an awkward and lovable teenager on the cusp of adulthood. It explores the joys and anguish of growing up years including high school life, friends, family drama, dates, drugs, sex etc.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower also addresses mental health issues. With topics like suicide, sexual abuse and many other hard-to-discuss topics, I would rather wait for my teen to turn 18 or 19 to read this book not earlier than that.
I really loved the book and found it very realistic, honest, emotional, beautiful and compelling. A book worth reading for older teens as well as adults. It made me reflect back on my growing up years and I’m sure, for young teens it’ll show what lies ahead.
The novel is filled with amazing quotes. Sharing some of my favorite quotes:
“Try to be a filter, not a sponge.”
“I would die for you. But I won’t live for you.”
“He’s a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.”
“Even if we don’t have the power to choose where we came from, we can still choose where we go from there.”
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
“This moment will just be another story someday.”
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
“Enjoy it. Because it’s happening.”
“We didn’t talk about anything heavy or light. We were just there together. And that was enough.”
“It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.”