Format: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 213
ISBN: 9781451696196
Price: 299 INR

“A coming-of-age tale in the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace… (Chbosky’s) poignant reflections on life, love and friendship are often inspirational and always beautifully written.”

-USA Today

The traditional form of letter-writing has always been appealing to me. When I realized the entire novel of ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ was a series of letters, I dived into the story immediately. And I didn’t regret it one bit. People praise the book by saying that it is something that has defined adolescence and captured it vividly. While I do agree, there are other facets to be considered too.

The story follows a shy and lonely teenager by the name of Charlie through the letters he writes to an anonymous stranger. These letters begin from the 25th finally end on August 23rd, 1992. During this period of almost one year, the readers come to realize Charlie’s maturity, his thought process and grow up with him over the months. All his entries lead to one flaming realization that hits us hard in the end. I felt the story makes us pity Charlie towards the end, rather than portraying him as a strong individual. However, Chbosky has done a brilliant job of taking us through that uncharted territory of high school, dates, drugs and sex.

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

Phrases such as the above one are the highlights of the novel and the proper feel comes from them too. For a while, you almost begin to believe that these letters are mere diary entries and that aspect added to the excitement of reading it further. The bright green cover of the movie tie-in copy is eye-catching and simple. Regarding the movie adaptation: This was one novel that I read after seeing the movie and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. Often is the case that the movie disappoints you because of variation from the book, but that doesn’t happen here. The author himself became the director for the movie and brought forward a magnificent tale that touched people’s hearts. Overall, the movie stayed true to the book in most aspects and that was its strong point.

At the end of the novel, we are still breathing- waiting for yet another letter from Charlie. If only to say that everything’s right. We see Charlie coming to terms with what happened to him in the past. The brilliant line

“We don’t get to choose where we came from, but we can choose where we go from here”

has struck gold in a million hearts. And the novel yet again goes to that cherished spot on the bookshelf.

Overall Rating: 8/10

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