Don’t Judge This Wallflower

The following is in response to Stephen Chbosky’s book “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

Chbosky’s book follows the young Charlie through high school as he comes to terms with his adolescence, a history of sexual abuse, and drugs. Besides the story, which is touching and well-written, I want to mention the style this book was written in. The main character Charlie is telling the story of these years of his life through a series of letters that he is writing to an unnamed recipient. That’s right, we don’t know who he is relating the story to, only that he is said to be “not judgmental.” Every writer wants their readers to not be overly judgmental of their work, to accept the story for what it is, but not many writers are able to get that message across to the reader. When Charlie writes to the recipient that he has heard that he, the recipient, is not judgmental, Chbosky seems to be saying “don’t judge my story too harshly right away. Give it time to sink in.” If you keep an open mind to this writing style and get through the book—it’s not very long—you will not be disappointed.

On the film adaptation, I will say this—they do an amazing job following the story and it is a great performance by Logan Lermen. Read the book first and then watch the film. Lermen just is Charlie. And that’s all I have to say about that (Forest Gump reference?).

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