The book The Perks of Being a Wallflower sheds a new light on high school life

The book The Perks of Being a Wallflower sheds a new light on high school life

Life is like a rope: twisted, clumped, fraying in some places, but clean in others. Life is made from rapid tangles of unexpected joy and despair.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky highlights every tangle, every column, and every fray of high school life, especially for introverted high schoolers such as the main character, Charlie. The story follows Charlie as he stumbles through high school. The book is kicked off with Charlie approaching two seniors, Patrick and Sam, immediately showing his unique, courageous disposition. By starting a conversation with the pair, Charlie unknowingly launches himself into a collage of high school memories.

Charlie quickly forms a strong friendship with Patrick and Sam, who readers find have a strong influence on Charlie and a unique outlook on life. Before Charlie knows it, he’s suddenly being introduced to so many people who are thrilled to meet him, an experience he’s unfortunately, not used to. He’s suddenly at at parties. He suddenly ends up becoming friends with so many people who really do want to be friends with him. He is suddenly getting all the experiences of high school thanks to the power of friendship.

The writing style is very unique. The entire story is told through a compilation of letters Charlie is sending to another student. You don’t know who the student is but that only makes it more intriguing and adds a sense of suspense not commonly found in high school dramas. The way it is written is it really sounds like Charlie is the one writing, the author strategically writes and instead of using big words to impress, Chbosky uses words a high schooler like Charlie would actually use.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower incorporates so many conflicts and so many plots but doesn’t tragically force me to lose track of everything that is going on. I think this way of writing has been avoided like the plague by authors because incorporating so many events can be confusing. I loved that Chbosky wasn’t afraid to incorporate so many different occurrences. It made his book stick out from the rest of the high school fiction novels.

On that note, I have never liked the blandness of high school fiction; each seems to have the same build. That’s why I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The characters had depth, they had history and they were all diverse, none were the classic stereotypical mean girls and jock boys. Their lives weren’t like the fictional frilly lives generally portrayed in high school novels, they were adjacent to real lives. Every character clung to secrets. Every character had struggles and triumphs and a different personality. Their lives were three dimensional.

You know a book is incredible when you catch yourself whispering “It’s okay” to a fictional character. That proved that the characters had realistic struggles I was able to relate to as a reader.

Furthermore, the perspective was brand new for me. Books always seem to take the perspective of the outgoing characters, not realizing the potential of quiet power. Chbosky did an incredible job of portraying an introvert as the main character for the first time. Someone who was unique and went with the flow. Someone who had little fear and wasn’t all wrapped up in drama.

The book shows the high school isn’t all about first world problems, hormones, and all the teenage stereotypes, it shows that teenagers do have real struggles. It also shows that introverts aren’t just anti-social freaks. They show that introverts do have a life and do have an unseen quiet power.

Truly, it expresses all the perks of being a wallflower.