"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us."
- Franz Kafka
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Summary (from the publisher's website):
Standing on the fringes of life...
offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction:The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.
Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.
This book is short but so, so powerful. I don't want to go into a lot of detail, but it is definitely one of those books that every should read; if for nothing but to gain some perspective.
The main character's voice is subtle, but Charlie's thoughts are so deep that they become more than words - you feel like he's writing these letters to you, and you start to wish with all your heart that you could write back. I felt his voice was genuine and easy to relate to; he is honest and blunt and confused about his place in life, and as everything changes around him, he tries to figure out who he is and who he should be. He misses his aunt and his brother and his old life, but as much as he wants to hold on to the past, he knows he must move forward, which is a quality about him I really liked.