Finished Reading: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Last year I gave in to my book-addiction and grabbed an old Kindle that was lying about in my flat (that makes me sound a bit decadent, it was actually my boyfriend’s but he doesn’t use it anymore) and I connected it to my mother’s account.

Now I have two Kindles: one I use for all my books while the other contains only fiction. This is great because now, when I see a book that I think both my mother and I will enjoy, I buy it for her and download it onto my second device. (I’m still waiting for Amazon to allow book sharing in the U.K. Come on Amazon, you know it makes sense…)

I also of course, now have access to all the books I have bought for her over the last year or so. And The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is one of those.

I can’t remember buying the book for my mother, but it doesn’t surprise me I did. It’s set in an American high school and I do like those books. Told in the first person as Charlie (who I didn’t realise until I was aobut 3% into the book was a boy!) is writing letters (yes, it’s the early 90’s) to a friend we never meet. Does it matter who that friend is? I don’t think so. Maybe we are the friend. I do hope so.

I was looking for something to read to my father when he was in hospital and I came across this. I started reading and it grabbed me instantly. I love books written in the first person and in particular, I’m a sucker for the epistolic genre. The best example is Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons Dangereuses)which you should read if you haven’t already done so. Don’t worry if you’ve seen the film, this is a completely and just as amazing experience and you can still picture Glenn Close.

I did have to wait a few months until I finished all the other books in my immediate queue (a Rebus, a Connelly, Kate Atkinson and quite a few non-fiction) until I found the right time to read this one. (Do you also find there’s a “right time” for each book?)

Charlie is a little bit of a loner, but he does have some cool friends. He does have a bit of a breakdown at some point, but he will be all right. By the time we finish the book, we know he’ll be ok.

I know I’m probably not selling the book that well (marketing was never my strong point!) but this is one of those books that might not change your life but will leave you with a warm feeling for days. It’s beautifully and oh-so-simply written. If you fancy being part of a teenager’s life, meet the teacher who introduces him to books, meet his brother and sister with their own little dramas and meet his two older friends, grab this now. It’s a great Kindle read. (In paperback too, but I haven’t seen the film…)

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