The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - (Full review can be found on my blog, Paper Riot.)I first read The Perks of Being the Wallflower because: my good friend the Internet told me that 1) it is very similar to John Green's Looking For Alaska, which is one of my favorites, 2) it is a heartbreaking coming-of-age-novel, and though they tend to be a bit depressing and repetitive, I absolutely love those, and 3) it's a classic and a definite must-read. So I did. And though I wasn't expecting the (sometimes brutal) honesty and rawness of a book this short, I couldn't help but fall in love with it. The Internet was right. As always. (*cough*)The book consists of a series of letters that main character Charlie writes to an anonymous reader. In these letters he talks about his family, his past, and mostly about his freshman year in high school and all the new things he experiences. I fell in love with Charlie in the very first letter, in which he already talks very openly about his friend's suicide and the fact that he cries a lot. As a reader, you immediately know that he isn't like any other teenage boy. Charlie is introvert, innocent, child-like, but also clever beyond his years and very sincere. He observes life rather than to participate in it and he does and doesn't understand a lot of things at the same time. The thing about Charlie's story telling that I loved most was his downright honesty. Though maybe because he's just so innocent and naive, he's refreshingly open about everything he learns about or experiences, even when it comes to (socially) tough subjects like abortion, drugs, child abuse, gay sex, mental illness, suicide, and life in general. The back cover of my copy of The Perks read a quote which I thought was a perfect example of the way Charlie expresses his thoughts in his letters:"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."The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a story about a socially awkward boy trying to find his place in the world, written in letters that are each unique, hilarious and yet devastatingly honest. And though I'm generally not a big fan of books written in diary or letter form, the story was so wonderfully written that I didn't mind. It actually made it harder for me to put down. ('One more letter.' 'Oh, that was a short one. Maybe just one more.') Stephen Chbosky created with Charlie the ultimate embodiment of the troubling process that is growing up, which most people can relate to perfectly. If you're open to it, I promise you that you'll love it.