‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ is a renowned novel written in epistolary style by Stephen Chbosky.

The wallflower Charlie addresses an anonymous person in his letters telling him about his experiences of his day to day life. Charlie who is reserved by nature is often considered a wierdo in school. He is a naive in parents eyes and a freak in his sister’s accordance. His life changes for good when he befriends Patrick and Sam, his seniors from school. Instantly and irrevocably, he develops a crush on Sam. In school his teacher encourages him to read and gives him interesting books from time to time which creates a lasting impact on him. His sister confides in him for her abortion and openly communicate love for her brother. Subsequently, home was better, school seemed to him not a bad place anymore and walking between his two friends made him feel ‘infinite’. But soon enough a chaos flared up amid his near perfect cosmos. Even though everything seemed to fall back in place at one point of time, inside him still resided a blackhole without his knowledge. He had a distressing history which refused to walk past him.

This is a coming of age story. Charlie betters his handlings of his emotions by time, learns a plethora of new things good, bad and uncanny, becomes more and more articulate about his feelings, and eventually breaks down to finally heal from within. This novel gives us a glimpse of the hearts and minds of those children we easily call wierdo in the school corridors without wasting a moment on contemplating what might the real reason be behind the haunting hush of that little girl’s/ boy’s eyes. Also, this novel celebrates the notion of friendship that is way beyond any other relationships in the world.

This crisp story engulfs you little by little and finally wins you over. You relate with the emptiness and the longing of Charlie. You feel the warmth of the friendship of the characters. Patrick who is struggling to solve his own questionaire his life has put up against him can still manage to make the evenings shine with his glittering presence. The language is obviously unembellished. Nevertheless, the narration is fairly stimulating and the end is somewhat mystifying. You may have many reasons to love this book but for me it’s ‘hope’, as we are apprised in the end- “He made it”.

Surbhi Islam

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