By: A. C. Bido
I haven't read a book that reflects teenagers' lives as much as Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Through a collection of letters to an anonymous friend, the book tells the story of Charlie, a 15-year-old who has just started his freshman year of high school. Being a wallflower himself, his letters show his thoughts and how he tries to live life but at the same time runs away from it. By meeting two older students, Sam and Patrick, Charlie finds himself and his friends opening up about their troubled past, full of deaths, forbidden love, toxic friendships, drugs, and alcohol. Trying to come out of his shell, Charlie starts to hang out more with his friends, and they start living their lives fully.
When I was 15 years old, I read this book in two days. While my life and Charlie's are entirely different, I loved seeing a new perspective of the moments that truly define who we are and what happiness is to us, and the importance of staying true to ourselves. The book shows with transparency the flaws people have, and this realistic approach is one of the reasons why it is relatable. It also gave me an idea of how to grow in high school and help people in times of distress, mainly when it comes to overcoming psychological issues. I would recommend this book to every teenager; even though Charlie is NOT a role model, he shows that one shouldn't be afraid of being different.
"When we got out of the tunnel, Sam screamed this really fun scream, and there it was. Downtown. Lights on buildings and everything that makes you wonder. Sam sat down and started laughing. Patrick started laughing. I started laughing.
And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."