I am one of those people who read this book because of Logan Lerman. A male’s POV is not really my thing and a novel written as letters for someone the protagonist do not know is not an enticing idea. I started reading this just for the sake of knowing how the book was written before I see the movie. What I didn’t expect was for me to feel, love & care for Charlie. Logan Lerman might be the reason why I picked up The Perks of Being a Wallflower but it was Charlie who made me finish it.
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Paperback, Pocket Books, 213 pages
Read from September 01 to 08, 2012
I was never a wallflower. I’m a friendly little social butterfly who doesn’t take anybody’s BS. I speak my mind. This was one of the reasons a lot from my batch knew me. If you think I’m mean now then what do you call me when I was in my teens and “filter” was not part of my vocabulary yet? If Charlie keeps quiet with the things he sees, I don’t. I see things. I understand. But I don’t shut up if I have something to say.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age novel that teens can easily relate with. Charlie is a likeable character. I may not be like him in a lot of ways but I learned to care for this kid in every letter I read. Others think Charlie has autism—sort of. After I found out what really happened to him at the end of the novel, I think he was suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Our mind’s coping to stress is not an exact science since it depends on how we channel our emotions and what coping mechanisms works for us well. In Charlie’s case, he used repression & dissociation. He blames himself of what happened in his past. It’s easier for him to drive people away than get close to them.
Despite of everything running in his head, he tried to overcome them. I was surprised it took him that long to break down to think the things he’d been through in his freshman year weren’t easy. Suicide, sex, abortion, drugs, and homosexuality are not normal issues a fifteen-year old kid faces. Heck, I’m in my twenties but I never experienced half of what he’d gone through. He was brave in his own little way.
What I didn’t like in this novel was his parent’s cluelessness of what was going on with Charlie emotionally. They knew he suffered a sort of emotional breakdown when he was a child but they thought Charlie outgrew it. They didn’t see the symptoms that Charlie was calling for help. The first time they sent him to the hospital, they should have seen it. They should have been more cautious.
I first said that Chbosky’s style of writing this didn’t entice me but as I go along, I started to appreciate it. At first I thought these were journal entries, it took me a little while to realize that those are letters. It was personal. I feel like Charlie is talking to me, that the letters are meant for me. If given the chance, here’s what I’ll write back.
Book # 44 of 2012
Book Blurb & Cover: Goodreads
Book Photo: Owned and Edited by ShanaTalks
Book Copy: Borrowed from JL