Book Club Pick: February 2016
Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Series: Stand alone novel
Country: United States
Publisher: Gallery Books / MTV Books
First Published: 1999
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the unchartered territory of high school. The world of first dates, family drama, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
This coming-of-age novel is written as a series of anonymous letters that fifteen-year-old high school Freshman Charlie writes to someone he has never meet but thinks will understand him. He addresses the letters as only as ‘Dear Friend’. The 53 letters span a period from August 1991 to August 1992.
When the novel opens Charlie is dealing with the suicide of his middle school friend Michael the year before and the death of his favourite aunt Helen, during his early childhood. Charlie befriends Patrick, an openly gay teen from his shop class, and his step sister Sam. Both are older, outsiders – but they are the cool kind of outsiders. They introduce Charlie to parties, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The novel tackles some tough issues through Charlie’s eyes including suicide, domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape, teen pregnancy, abortion, drug use, homosexuality, death of a family member, mental health.
Stephen Chbosky also wrote and directed the feature film adaptation that was released in 2012 and starred Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller.
Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my public library.