I love quotes. I love to read them, save them, tweet them. They could be from books, movies or just someone’s sayings. So, recently, I’ve been coming across a lot of quotes from the book; “The Perks of Being A Wallflower”. I was curious to know what the book was about so I went online to google it. I discovered there was a movie adaptation of it, and that was all the conviction I needed to download the book as soon as possible. I am a sucker for books that have movies. I can’t deny how much I love to read books that have movie adaptations, so as to watch the movie after reading and compare how much of the book was adapted successfully. I finished this book sometime this week and watched the movie just last night.
“The Perks of Being A Wallflower” was written by Stephen Chobsky and first published in 1999. The book is a collection of letters written by the main character, Charlie describing his life story to a stranger. Charlie is an introvert teenager who was sacred of starting high school due to his unpopularity and lack of friends. As he starts high school, he is still recovering from the death of his best friend and that of his aunt, who died when he was younger. He had this great love for his dead aunt and sometimes experiences flashbacks about her death which wasn’t healthy for him.
His first set of friends he happened to make were his English teacher (who gives him extra books to read), Sam and Patrick. Hanging out with his new set of friends helped him with those flashbacks he usually had. Sam and Patrick who were half-siblings and seniors at his high school introduced him to a new world of friendship, fun and music. Charlie fell in love with Sam, but she was dating someone else. Patrick on the other hand was a gay guy in a secret relationship with the football star in school.
Mary Elizabeth, a girl in their clique was sort of interested in Charlie and they started a relationship which the reader was made to believe was a one-sided relationship. This actually ended when Charlie kissed Sam during a ‘Truth or Dare’ game. This caused a rift and Patrick advised him to stay away for a while. He became lonely without his new friends and those flashbacks came back gradually. However, when Patrick was in a fight with Brad and his football teammates, Charlie was the one who rescued him and this earned him the respect of his friends, and things got back to normal.
During the ending of the school year, Charlie was beginning to miss all his friends as they were all graduating that year. While helping Sam to pack her things for college, she asked him why he didn’t act on his feelings for her and he told her all that mattered to him was her happiness. They begin to get intimate and all of a sudden, Charlie becomes uncomfortable. This stirred up certain memories in him which made him realize that he had actually been molested by his aunt. This led to a mental breakdown and he was admitted into a mental hospital. Sam and Patrick visited him after he was discharged and the novel ends with him accepting his past.
This book was quite a lovely read.I liked the fact that the author made references to existing books and songs. I had to make a mental note to get those books his English teacher always gave him. I would love to read them. This book is basically a mixture of friendship, love, school life and a little bit of molestation. I never guessed that he was molested by his aunt and I remember feeling angry when I read that part and discovering that the psychological damage was what led to his usual flashbacks. Charlie was a great character, though quiet but very loyal. He was the kind of guy who always put others before himself. I give it a 6/10.
The movie on the other hand was not so bad. Though a couple of things were not adapted into the movie, but still it was lovely. I give it a 6/10 as well.
~“You can’t just sit there and put everyone’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.” -Stephen Chobsky, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower~
~”We accept the love we think we deserve”- Stephen Chobsky, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower~
If you’ve either read this book or watched the movie, kindly comment and tell me what you think about it.