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Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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In high school, we meet people that change our lived in ways we can’t imagine. High school introduces us to new experiences and brings us closer to things that seem impossible when we were young. We experience most of our firsts: first love, first kiss, first taste of alcohol, and so much more.

A lot of movies have depicted the high school experience in many ways. Few have been successful in highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly of that journey. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky strips away the exaggerated comedy, the swooning romances, and the preppy dance numbers.

Perks is an epistolary novel which takes place during Charlie’s freshman year. A close friend had just committed suicide, and as a recommendation from his therapist, he started writing letters to a random person.

The story begins with Charlie’s first day in high school and his struggle to find his place while staying out of trouble. A senior by the name of Patrick decided to take him under his wing. Charlie then meets Sam, Mary Elizabeth, and the rest as they say is history.

Charlie is soon introduced to the world of mixed tapes, drugs, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, road trips and the idea of infinity. Eventually, reality catches up and he realizes he only has a limited time with them. He realized he doesn’t have anyone else. He realizes he’s in love with Sam and can’t be with her. As the year ends, Charlie discovers that he can’t stay a wallflower for the rest of his life.

Perks is a unique high school story because it does not focus on the stereotypes that have been done way too many times. Instead, it provides readers a raw account of the transition from childhood to adolescence, and teaches us that we need just one infinite moment to keep us alive.

Written by:

Paula Apolonio, a book worm and theater enthusiast, she hopes to one day pen an international bestseller.

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