April is, so far, my favorite month. Spring has officially come to Asheville, and what a glorious welcome it has been! It seems that every single tree and flower is just bursting after that horrid, retched winter we had. And with spring comes the delicious warm breezes that allow me the opportunity to read outside. I love reading outside.
I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and I have to say that I started on April 2nd…and finished on April 4th. I could not put it down!! I even rented the movie (even though I usually have this thing about not seeing the movie because I feel like it might ruin the book for me). But I did. It was okay.
Back to the book. I was simply pulled in. By everything. The language, tone, and also and very importantly, the shortness of it. Yes, after reading frickin novels it seemed like for the past few months, Perks was a breath of fresh, spring air. And not only did I welcome it, I devoured it.
The book is written by Charlie (the main character), in the form of letters to an anyonymous reader, and begins as Charlie is starting his freshman year of high school. His best friend just committed suicide which is extremely hard for Charlie to deal with. I quickly learned that Charlie has a history of black-outs and questionable mental behavioral problems, possibly due to some traumatic incident as a child. Everybody is nervous around him and he has difficulty making friends. Although Charlie is remarkably intelligent, he is quiet and watches the people around him but doesn’t seem to get emotionally involved in their lives. Like the title says, he is a wallflower in every sense of the word.
However, he ends up making a few friends who stick with him throughout the book. They are seniors and a little “out-there” themselves: Sam and her step-brother, Patrick as well as a teacher. I don’t want to spoil the book, but I will say that befriending these people made an extreme impact on his life. He learns what love is, how to give and receive, how to open up and be more comfortable talking to people, and how to forgive and let go of the trauma he went through as a child.
I want to liken it to Catcher in the Rye, but I read that so long ago that maybe all I’m finding relatable is the first person narrative. Either way, the book seemed very honest and pulled at my heartstrings. What kid in high school doesn’t go through crap and get bullied in some way? Even if the bullying is just peer pressure (Yes, I consider peer pressure a light form of bullying.)?
What I especially liked was the feeling that Charlie was writing to me. His innermost, private thoughts. And I loved watching him progress as the book went on. I highly recommend this to anyone to read, especially outside in the warm air. It was wonderful and I plan on reading it again!