The Perks of Being a Wallflower — Review

December 27, 2012

I was meeting some friends at Union Square to see The Hobbit, but was an hour or so early and somehow managed to leave the house without a book. Clearly that had to be remedied. We were meeting at the Barnes & Noble, so there were plenty of books, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower caught my eye. I started reading it one night at a friend’s house, but never got a chance to finish it because I didn’t borrow it. This copy stood out because it had the original cover — not the movie-poster tie-in. I decided the time had come to read it and made my way to the register (managing to only pick up one other book on the way). Then I got to read for an hour or so until my friends arrived.

It had been about a year since I last picked up The Perks of Being a Wallflower, so I didn’t remember much of it. I sometimes found it frustrating as it isn’t always clear how reliable of a narrator Charlie really is. And of course we don’t know to whom he’s writing. Clearly there was some interaction that made him feel he could trust this person, but all of it was a bit hazy.

I really enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower because while it’s a coming-of-age story and couldn’t be called anything else, it sets itself apart. I’m not usually a fan of coming-of-age stories. I tend to find them tedious and unimaginative. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is different. Charlie and the other characters come into their own, but it’s so much more than the relationships and friendships and the book is only the beginning. You know that the characters’ lives will continue with their ups and downs, but you’ve seen how it starts and that’s the most dramatic part.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a very quick and enjoyable read. I say go for it!

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