The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I’ve been on a reading kick recently. One of the items on my 101 list is to read 20 new books (as well as reread the entire Harry Potter series!). Growing up I was a great reader and read all the time before bed. But I got in a bad pattern the last 2 years and barely read any books.

About 2 to 3 months ago I made an effort to change that and since I’ve read about 6 books. The most recent book I finished was The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I saw the movie about a year ago (mostly because Emma Watson is in it and I love her). I thought the movie was just average but the book still remained on my “to read” list.

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This book completely touched my heart. It’s not very long and a very quick read (I finished it in about 3 or 4 days). The writing style is simple, especially in the beginning since it’s written from the perspective of Charlie, a 9th grader. Charlie is dealing with some deep emotional issues while at the same time looking for friends and acceptance during his first year of high school.

I did not expect to be so moved by this book, but it really hit a chord with me. Reading some of the passages I could seriously feel my heart breaking. Like when Charlie gives all his friends the absolute perfect Christmas presents, but he doesn’t get many in return. Or when Charlie sends a report he wrote to his brother who is away at college in hopes that his brother will read it and they can discuss it together. There were many, many instances where I felt like I wanted to befriend Charlie because his heart was always in the right place and he was always looking for acceptance and love.

There were also moments in the book when Charlie wrote that “there is something wrong with me, but I don’t know what it is.” Those moments really hit home to me too because it almost felt like I was reading my own journal. I’ve had those moments too, when my emotions and thoughts have been so out of whack that I was convinced there was something wrong with me but I couldn’t understand what it was. The frustration Charlie faced when trying to understand why he felt the way he did was something I myself had faced. I understood his fear, confusion, and frustration. I understood feeling like you were different but not understanding why. In those ways, reading Perks was like looking into a mirror.

I seriously recommend this book to everyone. Even if you are well past high school age, read The Perks of Being a Wallflower to put yourself back in touch with your old insecure teenage self. Read it to stand in someone else’s shoes for a little while. Read it so you can feel a connection with Charlie just like I did.

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