First published in 1999, Chbosky's novel has now gained worldwide acclaim since the book was announced to be made into a movie with the same name released this year.
The Perks of Being A Wallflower is a story about a boy who documents the different events of his life while growing up and writes them down in the form of letters, which he later posts to someone he does not know in real life.
What made this book a delightful read was the fact that I could personally relate to the narrator - the protagonist - Charlie, as he told us his story. Being the shy, quiet person who was "different" and not considered to be part of the 'popular' peeps, Chbosky has portrayed almost every high schooler's life in this book. It amazes me how accurately and well he has crafted this story to make it realistic and believable enough to win his audiences over.
At first, I thought this would be just another teen novel about love, bullying and sex. But Chbosky proved me wrong. In a big way.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Alternate Cover Art
With an equally eclectic and readable style of writing, The Perks of Being A Wallflower is a book that is a light read that you can read on the bus, at home, in the bath tub, at almost any time of the day.
If you think about it, 250 pages isn't a lot to get through. It's a tough technique to be able to create a bunch of characters and tell their stories in a few words. However, I feel that Chbosky has attempted and succeeded in producing a strong, emotion-inducing story in those 250 pages.
Chbosky has effortlessly covered a range of topics that normal teenagers face while in high school or university - slipping away from the "awkward phase", initiation of drugs, questions of sexuality and the general discovery of one's personality traits.
Chbosky's target audience may have focused on the 15-25 age bracket, but in my opinion, almost anyone above the age of 15 would love reading his work, because it is something that still exists in our society, and it is a phase of life that we all go through - it's almost unavoidable.
There are so many incidents that occur throughout the story that make one think twice about the life they lead. This story makes me wish I had had some of those experiences, purely because of the thrill it brings with it. Then there are others that make me thank my stars for the life I lived while in high school, because had I gone through those stages in my life, it would've resulted in a lot of trauma and therapy for the rest of my life.
Chbosky has written a beautiful work of art, and I highly urge everyone to read this book - admire his writing style, connect with his characters and realize that life is too short to live by the rules.