I didn’t have much time to write blog post these last weeks, since my son was home on summer break and I really wanted to spend some time with him. But I did have time to read, so I’ve made good progress on my Top 100 of teen fiction and I’ll be posting my reviews in the days and weeks to come.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower has gotten raving reviews. For me, it had to grow on me however. At first, I didn’t ‘get’ the main character and narrator of the story, Charlie. But slowly but surely I came to see the world through his eyes and the more I did, the more I got drawn into the story. And there was a lot of hurt.
It’s not an easy book, despite it being made into a movie. It’s written in letters that Charlie, a freshman and the main character of the book, writes to someone we don’t know. In these letters he describes what he sees, for he observes a lot.
He observes the kind of relationship his sister is in. He observes the lives of his newfound friends. He observes how other treat him, relate to him. And ultimately he discovers that he’s too much of an observer.
I won’t say too much about the plot, for it will spoil it. You’ll have to read this book for yourself to discover what’s the cause of Charlie’s hurt, the reason that he’s on the sidelines instead of fully participating. It was beautifully done, surprising and yet logical at the same time. What’s unique, is that there are very few books that feature a male main character and while I am no boy, I feel like author Stephen Chbosky really got this voice of a teen boy right.
In terms of language and content: there’s some strong language in here, a few profanities, some sex and drugs. Nothing you wouldn’t come across in the real life of a high school freshman, but be sure to read the book carefully before recommending it to your teens. After they’ve read it, you’ll sure have plenty to talk about!
All in all, this was definitely one of the deeper and more literary reads in the Top 100 of teen fiction!