The perks of being a wallflower. What a wonderful notion! That’s what I thought when I chose to read this book. The title captivated me, and I really, really hoped the content would not disappoint me.
Fortunately, it didn’t.
The term “a wallflower” was associated with women and dances. A wallflower was the girl that wasn’t invited to dances, therefore standing by the wall. Now it’s referred also to people (of both sexes) who are introverted and quiet, yet they attend social gatherings, observing others, and not participating.
The protagonist of a book is Charlie, a sensitive, quiet, yet very intelligent boy. He writes letters to an unknown friend, and tells him all about his life, friends, feelings, drugs, alcohol and sex. Even though he probably doesn’t know himself who he’s writing to, he tells about his deepest emotions and problems the way he never tells anyone else.
From the first pages I fell in love with this book. I kept on thinking that it was the most beautiful and brilliant book about depression. Right next to Cather in the Rye. Charlie, though, is not really a Holden Caulfield. It doesn’t mean that I loved the book less, by no means. It talked about loneliness and feelings of isolation. Of not belonging anywhere. Of the importance of finding friends and being honest with them.
I feel like all the subjects that matters to teenagers are here. First love, first heartbreaks, trying alcohol and drugs. Importance of friends, acceptance and family. The topic of homosexuals and what may happen, and how they feel, if they don’t have any support from the adults. About respect for women, and about respecting oneself. About finding out who we are, and searching for our own, unique path.
I loved everything about this book. It’s rare that I can just say it without any “buts” or adding a little critique, even a very minor one. But this is what perfection looks like for me. Not a single complain.