“The Perk of Being a Wallflower” is a short novel written in first person through the form of letters. The book follows the main character, Charlie, through his difficulty getting through the lost of two people he was really close with, as well as his first love. The book is written in such a way that you only know a very small part of what is going on in the main character’s life. I find it an OK book, I feel like if you like following a teen and seeing how they deal with their life, this would be the book for you.
“The Perk of Being a Wallflower” has an interesting format when it comes to books. I haven’t read many books, if any, that are written in letter form. This format doesn’t allow to much insight into the character’s life. The restrictive view defiantly leaves the reader the ability to imagine more of the story then the author might want.
I feel like the main character in this story doesn’t evolve much, and remains very similar to the be beginning of the book until the very last letter. Now this may be due to the limitations of the format, but none of the characters seem to change much, except they go off to college. I’m certain that the limited change is due to the entire book being written in Charlie’s view point, but I would have like there to have been much more character development.
Had this been an anime I would have referenced it as a slice-of-life and left it at that, but since this is a book review I feel the need to expand this thought. This book really just follows Charlie around through his life and what happens in his life. Similar to a slice-of-life, it is focused on one specific time and group of friends. The entire book is finished within a year, but there are gaps between the letters as time passes. Charlie’s love story doesn’t really play much of a role in this book, but that is probably due to him being a wallflower and analyzing everybody else.
This is really all that I have to say about this book. I may just be too old for this book but this book just wasn’t for me.
Quick thought on the movie:
I feel like the movie, though it cut a lot of parts of the book out, actually managed to expand on the story a little bit more. Since the book is written as a set of letters, the movie allow you to actually see what is going on around Charlie, other then what is written in the letter. Especially during the flash backs and the end of the book/movie. I much prefer the movie over the book, which is sad to say.