Friday, 25 July 2014

BOOKS: The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Any avid young adult fiction readers will be familiar with The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (or will have seen the movie last year), but I thought, for those who haven’t, well, why not discuss it on the blog?

TPOBAWF gets a lot of comparisons to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye (which is one of the most famous works of fiction for young adults there is), because it has a lot of similar themes. ‘The Perks…’ is about growing up, ‘coming of age’ as it were, and all of the issues and emotions in between.

‘The Perks…’ is written in diary form – the diary belongs to Charlie, who is about to begin his freshman year of high school, in 1991. Charlie is described as “shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet social awkward… caught between trying to live his life and trying to run away from it” – in other words, he’s a ‘wallflower’. Charlie is sort of na├»ve and innocent in ways, and this really comes through in the way he writes in his diary, who he calls a ‘friend’. Throughout the book, Charlie experiences and deals with many, many issues and topics that most young teenagers go through all of the time: “the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show." 

I don’t want to give too much away, but there is quite a huge twist in Charlie’s story (who doesn’t love a good plot twist?!), in a kind of everything-coming-to-light kind of way. Charlie’s story is certainly an interesting one, one that I found to be really thought provoking and intriguing.

If you’re a fan of young adult fiction, J.D. Salinger’s classic and stories of growing up, you’ll love The Perks of Being A Wallflower. It’s described as a “deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up”. TPOBAW is Stephen Chbosky’s debut novel, and I personally can’t wait to read what he’ll write next.
Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.