“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky (1999)
Last Wednesday night, Julian sent me a text. It said:
Is Perks of Being a Wallflower a book as well as an awesome movie with Emma Watson and Joan Cusack? … end of the movie and I am ACTUALLY thinking it is now my favourite of all time.
I replied that I had never heard of it! The next day we discussed it at school. Indeed, it was a book first… and not a recent one. On Thursday night I downloaded it to my Kindle and last night (or was it this morning?), when I should have been sleeping, I finished it.
It makes perfect sense to me that the movie version would appeal to Julian. This is a beautiful story. Charlie, our hero, is a high school student. He doesn’t have any friends, but he has an older brother who is great at football and a beautiful and popular sister. Charlie is immediately established as introverted yet articulate, socially challenged, but intellectually gifted. He is matter-of-fact and honest to a fault. Something sets him apart, but it takes the whole book to really understand what and why.
This is an epistolary novel. Each letter Charlie writes is simply addressed to ‘Friend’ and it is never really clear who he is writing to, or why. Well, eventually it makes sense why, but it doesn’t matter. Charlie’s story is captivating. His family and his friends are appealing and his story-telling is so engaging that you just want to power through the whole book in one sitting. But… and it has been far too long since the last time I felt this way… I never wanted it to end. Honestly, I miss Charlie, and his friends, Patrick and Sam.
Now I need to borrow the movie from Julian and see if it’s as good as he says it is. I’m feeling pretty confident.