The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book (Summary - Book Review - Book Order)

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(The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book -Summary - Book Review - Book Order - About the Author: Stephen Chbosky)

Author Stephen Chbosky
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult/Epistolary
Publisher Pocket Books (original cover) 
MTV Books (movie cover version)
Publication date
February 1, 1999
Media type Print (Paperback) and Audiobook
Pages 256 (first edition paperback)
224 (regular edition paperback)
ISBN 0-671-02734-4
OCLC 40813072
813/.54 21+++++
LC Class PS3553.H3469 P47 1999

The advantage of being a wallflower is an epistolary novel of the age of the American writer Stephen Chbosky, which was first published on February 1, 1999, Pocket Books. Established in the early 1990s, the novel follows Charlie, an introverted teenager, through his freshman year of high school in a Pittsburgh suburb. The novel details Charlie's unconventional thinking style as he navigates between the worlds of adolescence and adulthood, and tries to deal with moving questions stimulated by his interactions with friends and family.

Chbosky took five years to develop and publish The advantages of being a flower on the wall, creating the characters and other aspects of the story from their own memories. The novel addresses issues related to adolescence, including introversion, sexuality, drug use, and mental health, while making several references to other literary works, films and pop culture in general. Due to the aforementioned issues, it was banned in some American schools for its content.

In 2012, Chbosky himself adapted and directed a film version starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller. The film boosted sales of the novel and the book reached the New York Times bestseller list.

Summary
Charlie, the 15-year-old protagonist, begins writing letters about his own life to an unknown recipient. In these letters, he talks about his first year in high school and his struggle with two traumatic experiences: the suicide of his only friend from middle school, Michael Dobson, and the death of his favorite aunt, Helen.

His English teacher, who encourages Charlie to call him Bill, notices Charlie's passion for reading and writing, and acts as a mentor by assigning him extracurricular books and reports. Although he is a vase, Charlie is a friend of two older people: Patrick and Sam. Patrick is dating secretly Brad, a soccer player, and Sam is Patrick's half-sister. Charlie quickly falls in love with Sam and then admits his feelings. It is revealed that Sam was sexually abused as a child, and she kisses Charlie to make sure that her first kiss is from someone who really loves him.

In parallel, Charlie witnesses that her sister's boyfriend hit her in the face, but she forbids her to tell her parents. Finally, mention the event to Bill, who tells Charlie's parents. Charlie's relationship with her sister deteriorates rapidly and she continues to see her boyfriend against the wishes of her parents. Finally, she discovers that her sister is pregnant and agrees to take her to an abortion clinic without telling anyone. Her sister breaks up with her boyfriend, after which the relationship between her and Charlie begins to improve significantly.

Charlie is accepted by the group of friends of Sam and Patrick and begins to experiment with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. At a party, Charlie travels in LSD. He can not control his flashbacks from Aunt Helen, who died in a car accident on her way to buy her a birthday present. He ends up in the hospital after falling asleep in the snow. In a Rocky Horror Picture Show presentation, Charlie is asked to introduce himself as Rocky to Sam's boyfriend, Craig, who is not available. Her friend Mary Elizabeth is impressed and asks Charlie to dance in Sadie Hawkins and enter into a disjointed relationship. The relationship ends, however, during a real game or challenge when Charlie dares to kiss the prettiest girl in the room. He kisses Sam, and Mary Elizabeth runs out of the room in response. After this, Patrick suggests that Charlie stay away from Sam for a while, and the rest of the group of friends avoid him. His aunt Helen flashbacks return.

The relationship between Patrick and Brad is discovered by Brad's abusive father, and Brad disappears from school for a few days. When returning, Brad is cold and is bad with Patrick, while Patrick tries to reconnect with him. However, when Brad disparages Patrick's sexuality in public, Patrick physically attacks Brad until other soccer players come together and join Patrick. Charlie joins the fight to help Patrick, and breaks it, regaining the respect of Sam and his friends. Patrick begins to spend much of his time with Charlie and Patrick kisses Charlie impulsively and then apologizes, but Charlie understands that he is recovering from his romance with Brad. Soon Patrick sees Brad interact with a stranger in the park and Patrick can leave the relationship.

As the school year ends, Charlie is anxious to lose his older friends, especially Sam, who goes to a college prep program in the summer and finds out that her boyfriend cheated on her. When Charlie helps her pack, they talk about her feelings for her; She is angry because he never acted on them. They begin to engage sexually, but Charlie suddenly becomes inexplicably uncomfortable and stops Sam. Charlie begins to realize that his sexual contact with Sam has aroused repressed memories that he had been bothered by his aunt Helen when he was a child. Charlie shows signs of post-traumatic stress disorder for the incident and the revelation of his abuse helps the reader understand his vision of relationships and love.

In an epilogue, Charlie is discovered by his parents in a catatonic state and shows no movement despite being beaten reluctantly by his father. After being admitted to a psychiatric hospital, it is revealed that Helen actually sexually abused him when he was young. As is so often the case in early childhood traumas, Charlie's young mind tried to protect him from his abuse, which made him repress his traumatic memories. This psychological damage explains his flashbacks and derealization phases throughout the book. In two months Charlie is released, and Sam and Patrick visit him. In the epilogue, Sam, Patrick, and Charlie go back through the tunnel and Charlie gets up and exclaims that he feels infinite.

Charlie finally reaches an agreement with his past: "Although we do not have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we will go." Charlie decides to "participate" in life, and his letter ends.

Review
The most notable of this funny, moving and memorable first novel by Stephen Chbosky is the absolute precision with which the author captures the voice of a child who is teetering on the verge of adulthood. Charlie is a freshman. And although he is not the greatest geek in the school, he is not popular at all. He is a cocoon, shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, although not very intelligent in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through letters he writes to someone of the unrevealed name, age, and gender, a stylistic technique that adds to the heartbreaking anguish that pervades the story of this teenager. Charlie faces the same struggles many children face in high school: how to make friends, the intensity of falling in love, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs, but also dealing with the recent episode of your best friend. suicide. Charlie's letters acquire the intimate feel of a diary when he shares his everyday thoughts and feelings:

I walk through the corridors of the school and look at the people. I look at the teachers and I wonder why they are here. If you like your work. Or us And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen years old. Not in a bad way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who broke their hearts that day and how they can deal with three questionnaires and a report of a book that is due to that. Or wondering who broke his heart. And wondering why.
With the help of a teacher who recognizes his wisdom and intuition, and his two friends, Samantha and Patrick, Charlie manages to avoid the depression he feels like kudzu. When everything becomes too much, after a shocking realization about his beloved Aunt Helen, Charlie retires from reality for a while. But he returns in due time, ready to face his second year and everything he can bring. Charlie, sincerely looking for that feeling of "being infinite", is a spirit related to the generation that has been slapped with the X label.

About the Author
Stephen Chbosky wrote and directed the film adaptation of his award-winning novel, The Perks of Being to Wallflower. He has worked in film and television, in projects that include the film version of the successful musical Rent; the television program Jericó; and others. He also edited Pieces, a collection of short stories for paperback books. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chbosky graduated from the Film Writing Program at the University of Southern California. His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenChbosky.

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