The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Despite the book coming out over sixteen years ago, and the film being released in 2012, the love that I have for Perks will never ever fade. It sounds dramatic, but the beautiful story laid out by Stephen Chbosky saved me. It saved me from a spiralling depression, and made me feel as though I wasn't alone. Around the time that my love for Perks formed, it was beginning to be massively hyped up across the internet, and it received a lot of criticism for its overrated cliché quotes. No matter how overused it may be, "we are infinite" will always mean the world to me.

I read the book in February 2011, and I actually remember exactly where I was when I read it - in an armchair in my kitchen, that is no longer there. There is such a strong memory etched into my brain of sitting there, with my legs swung over the arm, reading from page 1 to the bittersweet end. I remember tears streaming down my face as I empathised with Charlie, feeling as though I too was mis-understood and alone. If I'm completely honest, it may have been a coincidence that I started to feel happier again that February. I began to wake up looking forward to my day; wanting to spend as long as possible in the outside world. I'll never really know if the book helped me as much as I always say that it did, but it certainly put a lot of things into perspective. I felt as though I was reading about myself, and for a writer to be able to express my own feelings to millions around the globe... 'alone' was no longer the correct way to describe my state of mind.

A year later, the film was released. Although I wanted it to get the same message across, I didn't set my hopes too high, in fear of disappointment... and so I was pleasantly surprised when the film turned out to be everything I could have ever hoped for. I remember sitting in the cinema, with my best friend Amy, having to hold her hand for the opening scene. I was so overcome with emotion because of how much the book had changed my outlook on life that I sobbed for the first ten minutes. They weren't a particularly sad ten minutes - I just couldn't cope with how accurate the film represented the book, and how I was experiencing something so special to me. Don't get me wrong; the film is definitely not perfect. Some weird changes were made in contrast to the book, such as changing the tunnel song (although I do love Heroes by Bowie). A specific quote was also assigned to the wrong character, which still annoys me a bit. But overall, the film managed to capture exactly what the book meant to me, and remains one of my favourite films to this day.

Have you ever read a life-changing book? What about Perks, have you given that a go?


  1. Amazing to see how much the book affected you. I liked the book and movie as well but they didn't have such an enormous impact on me. I watched the movie first and I then read the book. I love it when books are so intense. <3

  2. I'm sure everybody has a book or a film that means an incredible amount to them. Sometimes you find books right when you need them! x x x