“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
Introducing: My favorite book of all time (seriously though) is The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Here are my 5 reasons why:
- It represents my coming of age. Every time I read this book (and I’ve done so many times, in English and in Swedish) I am pulled back in time to when I was in high school. That was when I first read it as a part of a reading program for my English class. To be honest, I picked it up because the color on the cover was intriguing and it felt nice in my hands. Little did I know that it would be such an important part of my life. Struggling with sexuality and the negative things going on in my life, and I felt understood by the characters. And I also learned that we were all going to be ok.
- It demonstrates the importance of Writing and Reading. The entire book is a series of letters that Charlie writes to a “friend” about his life and story. Charlie’s English Teacher, “Bill”, gives him books to read outside of class and helps Charlie to grow. Reading this book about someone reading books also makes me want to read those books too. Too often we trade technology and little bits of writing for novels and books.
- It makes you feel less alone. Everyone can identify with at least one of the characters. Whether you are popular, LGBTQ+, an athlete, a writer, a reader, a victim of abuse, a parent, a friend of someone with mental illness, someone with mental illness, a wallflower… you will identify with someone.
- Its unafraid of offending and all-inclusive. This book touches on so many topics that can be hard to read/write about. Sexuality, abuse, knowledge, relationships, love, death, growth. Everything is somehow stitched together in a seamless, beautiful quilt.
- It shows us that you can feel sad and happy at the same time. Its ok. You have permission to feel those and more. As someone who struggles with mental health, I often feel wrong when my feelings are conflicting. But emotions are not separate, they overlap, ebb and flow. It’s ok to listen to that song that makes you feel emotional, sad, and happy. Its ok to think about those times that are dear to your heart but makes you cry. (Side note: If you really want to feel all the feels, listen to Asleep by The Smiths that Charlie mentions in the book. Listen to it when you are driving around at 10:00 p.m. after a troubling day, with the windows down. You’re welcome.)
Reading this book for me is liken to talking to a dear friend. And whenever I am having a hard time, I go back to this book.
While I think people should do things because they want to (not because they are told to)… Read this book if you can. Or at least listen to the audiobook. Or for you-know-who’s sake watch the damn movie (and then read the book).