The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I have always loved books, ever since early childhood, as I constantly found myself being immersed in the infinite and inspired world of literature. For this, I credit my mother, as she surrounded my childhood with wonderful books of all genres which captivated and ignited my imagination. Countless novels and writers have profoundly impacted my life, from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. The world of books, of endless possibilities, has allowed me to explore the Mississippi alongside Huck and Jim, reside in Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, and examine the eccentric mind of Holden Caulfield. I have lived these stories. I have identified with their characters–rejoicing in their triumphs and weeping with them in their agonies.

Book Cover–from novel’s Wikipedia page.

So, when I approach the deceivingly simple question of “What’s your favorite book? ” certainly, it is not so easy to select a single work. The answer relentlessly changes, evolves and repeats. I have a favorite book for every occasion, time of year, mood and emotion. However, today, I choose The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

I have read this novel a remarkable fourteen times and each time I fall in love with it more than the last. It’s an engaging, conversational, relatable, intimate and honest novel which offers a unique perspective that is both thought-provoking and inspiring. The novel follows the diary of a young, conflicted boy in an all-together hilarious, devastating and spirited tale of “growing up.” There are endless musical and pop-culture references, as well as riveting stories recounting the turbulence of finding and reinventing oneself in high school–all elements in which we can all identify with.

A famous quote from the novel.

A famous quote from the novel.

I can’t even begin to convey the many ways in which I profoundly relate to the novel’s characters and experiences–especially the main character Charlie. His journey and transformation is one that encourages the reader to cherish, invent and celebrate life’s moments which make us feel “infinite.”

Many of you may have heard of or seen the newly released film adaptation staring iconic leads such as Emma Watson. I was thrilled when I learned that a movie was being produced, but, mostly, I was apprehensive as to whether the portrayal would do the book justice. In the end, I was pleased with the outcome, and I certainly recommend it. However, this book is always better, of course! Give the book a try and I promise you you’ll find a little bit of yourself within!


The DVD cover of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)