May 15, 2018

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Dear friend,
There is a lot to tell you about the last two weeks. A lot of it is good, but a lot of it is bad. Again, I don’t know why this always happens.”

After finishing A List of Cages, I had an intense urge to read Perks because Julian’s personality and the voice of his narration in Cages reminded me so much of Charlie. It’s been almost a decade since the first time I read Perks. It always amazes me how books can hold different meanings for someone depending on where they are in their lives and what experiences they’ve gone through. As a high schooler, I felt a strong connection to Charlie, his wallflowerness, and his struggle to participate rather than just observe. Ten years later, I still feel that connection and shared struggle, but in a different way.

When I started reading Perks for the second time, I barely remembered anything except for the main plot and characters. I didn’t even remember that the book is written in the form of letters to a ‘friend.” I did, however, remember hidden things that are eventually revealed near the end. It was very difficult to read Charlie’s story for a second time but I’m glad I took a break from my neverending to-read list to revisit an old favorite.