Perks of being a Wall Flower, written by Stephen Chbosky, is narrated through the eyes of a boy who goes by the alias “Charlie”. He tells the stories through letters sent to someone he doesn’t know, and never says who he is writing to. He is a freshman in High school when he starts writing, and he takes us through the events starting with his fear of High school and going right through until the end of his freshman year.
Charlie doesn’t hold anything back with the letters, giving the reader a raw look at the going ons in his mind and in his life. Charlie starts to write these letters because he doesn’t believe his family understands him, and wants to speak to someone who will not judge him the way his family and friends have.
Readers are quickly introduced to two very important characters: Sam and Patrick. Sam and Patrick are stepsiblings, who are both seniors. They introduce Charlie to a number of people and events that eventually bring up a very important event in Charlie’s short life.
Like all teens, Charlie has issues with his Family and friends. His brother has left to play Football at University, and his sister is also a senior at Charlie’s High school. His sister proves to be a main focus of Charlie’s life, proving that no matter what a sibling says or does they will always love you and be there for you.
Some of the other issues Charlie deals with throughout the book are: abuse, drugs, sexuality and the time in a teen’s life of realizing who they are. It shows the issues through the eyes of a naive boy, who can’t always wrap his mind around the issues and what is happening in front of him.
Charlie proves to have a very distant view and connection with the world, being called a ‘wall flower’ by Patrick. He listens and watches, and doesn’t always participate. He is told by his English teacher to try and participate more, and not watch the world go by.
Perks of being a Wall Flower is a coming of age story that is a raw look through the mind of a grade nine student who has no idea where he is going, and what life has in store for him. It’s a story anyone can relate, and holds a certain kind of innocence that teenagers can have.