Perks of Being A Wallflower

I have to admit, I rarely read books (which is bad, especially for someone who wants to write). I'm picky and impatient. The thing is, books take time to fall in love with, and I am unable to dedicate myself long enough before I deem a book uninteresting and get frustrated with the search. But when I do find a book I love, I hold on to it and stay in its universe weeks - even months - after I've read it.

That's exactly what happened when I read Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I have heard of it years ago and even may have been suggested by someone to read it. But it wasn't until I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation along with a chat with my friend about the novel that I finally decided, why not?

And I'm glad I did. Perks of Being A Wallflower is not a book that warps you to a different universe. It's a book that resonates. Although Perks of Being A Wallflower is a work of fiction, it's real. It's a moment in time that's been lived by many.

Set in the 90s (strangely the decade I was born), a boy with the alias of Charlie, documents his life as he begins school by writing letters to an anonymous friend. Like the majority of freshmen, he's introverted, nervous, and wants a change. The wallflower. In school he's befriended by Patrick and Sam. Together and individually, they experience teenhood.

What's impressive about Perks of Being A Wallflower is it's authentic account of teenhood. Not the ideal kind; not the Hollywood kind with a skewed lens magnifying inaccurately to entertain. Just teenhood. The kind where you laughed, cried, and felt nothing. Perks of Being A Wallflower is the teenager experience in book form. From the people to the experiences. Friendship, heartbreak, self discovery, overcoming hardships. It has it all. For teenagers, this is a valuable tool that's been life changing for many and for adults, it's vividly nostalgic.

Now, the book has been adapted to a movie (premiering today at TIFF) and I am glad it is for the following reasons. One, it's going to be a classic as finally teenagers can see a genuine depiction (sorry Clueless, Mean Girls, Jawbreaker etc.) of teenage life on screen because two, Chbosky wrote the screenplay and directed the film himself, it could only be right. Three, Logan, Emma, and Ezra is Charlie, Sam, and Patrick. Period.

photos (from top) via blog.lib.umn.edu handmadelibrary hollywood

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