The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Book Review By Matthew J. Gleason

 Sometimes stories make it easier for us to explore the big ideas and question perceived truths. Books like the perks of being a wallflower are good examples of this. The protagonist is Charlie a troubled teen who often feels alone and confused. He isn't perfect. He also clearly doesn't understand everything. I think that's part of the point.

 Through his letters he reveals the complexity of his innermost thoughts and the truth of being alive. Without giving away much I can say that he displays great courage and strength after being forced into a less than ideal situation.

  Charlie's family is more or less "normal". They helped instill a sense of familiarity in me as the story began and as their troubles revealed themselves I couldn't help but sympathize.

  Charlie's life outside of his family is initially very unhealthy. His best friend has killed himself and no one seems interested in talking to him anymore. When he meets Patrick and his step sister Sam, things begin to turn around for him. They become friends and Charlie begins having romantic feelings for Sam. As Charlie's life begins heading in a more pleasant direction it makes it difficult to see him struggle with keeping it together.    

  Charlies friends are not merely objects for plot. Sam is a victim of sexual abuse and has a troubled past. Charlie clearly hates knowing how much she hurts. Patrick is gay and in love with the quarterback Brad. He suffers because of a world which hates his love and prefers to see him as a different species. Many might find inspiration in his journey.
  This book is about being young and being hurt, being in love and missing what you once had.

Post by: Matthew Gleason
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