TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
- thoughts on The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
In celebration of the Banned Books Week: 30th Anniversary of the Freedom to Read -an annual event that brought together the entire book community in support of the freedom to learn and voice ideas, even those considered unconventional- it’s substantial that I choose one of the best in the list.
Reading the first few of Charlie’s letters to the unknown recipient, the reader may think that this book is but a story of the usual high school life, the labyrinth of teenage phase. Yet, as I read along, I was pulled in by Charlie’s honest innocence, and naïve intellect… HONEST as the operative word. And sometimes, he can be honestly blunt which makes him either absolutely cute or a total spaz.
Charlie is not the best of role models, considering all the lies, drugs, sex, smoking and drinking he narrated here. Many will disagree with recommending this book, especially a parent like me. And yet, Charlie’s life is a good picture of the ups and downs of being a teenager. His story speaks of lessons we want our kids to learn: it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you admit to it and learn from them; it’s okay to try new things, but be reminded of what is good and what is bad; give your family the love and time they deserve; choose your friends wisely; and happily participate in life. Life is a tunnel you see, it’s not about the darkness within or the light at the end of it; its how you stand up to it head on with the wind blowing onto your face while smiling through tears.
Charlie wrote this letters in confidentiality, making it really personal; asking you not to judge him squarely, but open your heart for sincere understanding.
“Be skeptical about this one. It’s a great book. But try to be a filter, not a sponge.” – Bill, Part 4
Date Read: October 5, 2012
PS: I did not miss a star. I intentionally reserved that one for Bill -for being a great teacher, and for his excellent taste on books.