Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower first hit the the shelves in 1999. Charlie, the main character, spends the duration of the novel writing letters to an anonymous recipient. Surrounded by grief from his best friend’s recent suicide and fear of starting high school without any allies, 15-year-old Charlie finds confidence in friends Sam and Patrick.
Charlie remains a scandal in some classrooms today due to the seriousness of the issues he faced as a child. However, to most readers of the generation, the character will live on as a legend for his bravery in the face of the aforementioned issues.
Like most of my generation, the novel holds a special place in my young adult life. I re-read the novel at least once a year. I was wary when word of a film adaptation spread. In past experience, cult classic novels usually fail in theaters. However, I cried during the film just as many times as I did throughout the novel.
The audience was lucky enough to have Stephen Chbosky write the screenplay as well as direct and produce the film. Just as he had written 13 years ago, Chbosky provides balance between touchy, charming and challenging themes throughout the film.