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All those who loved “Catcher in the Rye” are definitely going to enjoy this one by Stephen Chbosky.  Its his debut novel and undoubtedly, the book will be regarded as one of the hallmarks in contemporary fiction.

Written in the form of letters by wallflower Charlie to his anonymous friend, the novel is a coming-of-age story of teenage life, love, sex, drugs and passion or the lack of it. Our protagonist Charlie is a typical wallflower – someone we all may have come across in our growing up years. He is sixteen and the novel is a narration of how his life changes when he starts high school after the suicide of one of his closest friends. Charlie starts writing about everything in his life – his friends, his peers, his girlfriend, his family, drugs, literature, music and how all of it makes sense or not. His letters are intimate, deep, reflective and at times, hilarious. Though he doesn’t give away the name or any details of the recipient of his letters, we are definitely attracted and caught up in his records of the happenings in his life.

Charlie is a good guy but is complicated for sure. He has some issues which can’t seem to get to the root of or resolve. He speaks of his relationship with his closest friends – Patrick and Sam, riddled with fond references throughout. He even mentions of his growing love for Sam. These characters play as important a role in the plot as they play in Charlie’s life. They are the ones who introduce him to the big bad world of drugs and rock music. On the other hand, we have Bill, Charlie’s teacher who introduces him to literary masterpieces like Fountainhead, On the road, Walden and the like.

The Perks of being a wallflower is a modern masterpiece. It screams of an experience that we all have witnessed in our adolescence. The confusion, the drama, the getting-a-grip-of-things – all of it has been portrayed with greatest elan. And that precisely is what makes this book as special and remembered as it is. The genuineness and the authenticity of the plot connects the readers to Charlie and the story as a whole. All in all, this is one book you can’t afford to miss – it makes you feel (how should I put it?) lets say, infinite. Inspired by one of my favourite quotes from the book – “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

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