So I am down on books that I can review this week as Christmas kind of threw my reading schedule out of whack. So for this weeks post while I am reading The Night Circus, I thought I’d talk about my all time favourite book. Throughout all the years, this has been the book that has never lost its top spot for me, I can read it over and over again and it always makes me feel the same. From the picture above, you’ve probably already guessed it is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It is for me, perfect.
I know this book and its film are pretty famous, but for those who don’t know it or haven’t read it here is a little about it. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age novel, first published on the 1st of February 1999 by the publisher Pocket Books. It follows young teenager Charlie through the early 90’s during his first year at high school as a freshman. He’s very introverted and explores his thoughts and feelings during experiences between his friends and family during the change from adolescence to adulthood. The book covers many themes such as sexuality, drug usage, rape and mental health. It can be a hard book to read in some parts.
The book is in the format of letters that Charlie has written to an unknown recipient of which he doesn’t want a response. He just wants them to listen. The letters detail Charlie dealing with the loss of his only friend and also his aunt and how, now during High School he has no friends. As the book develops Charlie writes about the friends that he meets and all the adventures and troubles that they all encounter. The friends he makes are the kind of friends you wish you had during school. Exciting and vibrant people that are fiercely loyal. We experience Charlie’s first date, first love and so much more.
I think the reason why I love this book so much is because of how I can personally identify with it. During school I wasn’t massively popular and I felt quite isolated as if I didn’t fully fit in, even though I had friends. I have for years struggled with my mental health and been victim to trauma. So the things that this book so beautifully touches upon I can appreciate how that really feels. Chbosky hit the nail on the head when he was writing this book, on how it all feels. The format, of being written in letters is so different as well. It kind of makes Charlie feel like a real person, and that he is writing these letters to you. You cannot help but love him and want to help him.
I have read this book and watched its movie so, so many times. I cry, like real cry at this book every single time. The feeling that I struggle to explain, that this book makes me feel as I read it has never dimmed, never changed or gone away no matter how much I have read it. I feel we all, at some point in our lives as readers, find that one book that truly touches your soul. It is your book. Not in the sense that you wrote it, because you obviously didn’t. But it becomes so special to you, that in a way it is a part of you just as your name is your name, your eye colour is your eye colour. Well this book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is my book. It has become a part of me. It is so special to me.
I would love to hear what everyone else’s special books are. Let me know in the comments what book really affected you. Which book or poem has stayed with you for many years and will forever be your favourite?
Thank you for reading my little blog and I hope you’ll stick around to carry on reading! The next review will be coming soon for Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, so keep an eye out and subscribe for an email notification when it’s up!