The Literary Horizon: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

via Amazon

I apparently missed the memo that I was supposed to have read this as a teenager and have deep feelings about it. I’ve actually encountered a contest for some copies of the new movie tie-in edition that assumed any contestants had already read it. To be fair, I was eight and much more consumed with the task of eating paper than reading it. Normally, this would turn me off, on top of the fact that I tend to hold adolescence at an arm’s length, but I have to watch the film: the author actually directed it, and Ezra Miller is suspiciously attractive, so I have to go investigate that. So I need to read the book first. Such is my life.

Ana at things mean a lot wished she’d gotten to it sooner, as she quite enjoyed it. Marie at the Boston Bibliophile was utterly unimpressed. Raych at books i done read found it forced. Christina at Reading Thru the Night absolutely loved it.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was published on February 1, 1999.

10 thoughts on “The Literary Horizon: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  1. I was the same way. I heard a lot about this book, everyone had read it. I finally picked it up in high school but really quickly got bored. I asked one of my friends what it was about, and she snarled, “Just read it!”

    So I chucked it.

    Since the film’s written and directed by the author, I think it’s safe to say this is aimed pretty squarely at the generation of brooding teenagers who got something out of the book. Many of these young men, obviously, went on to write movies like 500 Days of Summer and other Manic Pixie Dream Girl vehicles.

  2. I saw a poster the other day and my first thought was it was a poster for the book itself. The reality wasn’t as good, but interesting news nonetheless. Hope you enjoy it!

  3. This is the only gay book I read before I got to college, so it has a special place in my heart. (Side note: I’m impressed you were still eating paper at 8. Delicious.)

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