In the first person voice of our main character Charlie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower leads the reader through the day to day moments in one young teenager’s life, during his first year in high school.
The narration comes through letters written to “Dear Friend,” an unknown recipient. We know that Charlie lives in a city, but not which one. The time period is the early 1990s.
It is clear that Charlie is very bright, judging from the books he is reading, given to him by a teacher who takes a special interest in him. He also is very introspective, almost too much so, as he tends to hold himself back from others, like an observer rather than a participant. He develops friendships, but only after a period of time, and by the end of the year, he realizes that all of these friends, older than he, are leaving for college and he will be alone again. At this point, an emotional crisis brings him to a point where he must examine some issues.
What moments in Charlie’s early life changed how he views and engages with others? How will he finally learn or remember about those events?
It took me awhile to connect with the story and the writing style, but when I did, I literally could not put it down. And this book is not my usual reading genre. But Charlie stands out from other teen characters I have encountered, so that says something about why the story resonated with me.
By the end of the story, I was so invested in Charlie and his story that I didn’t want it to end. He is definitely not the typical teen, yet he experiences all the usual emotions of that time in a teenager’s life. A very memorable young man. A five star read.
Why was the book banned?
Reasons: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group.
Banned Book Week is hosted by Book Journey.