I wasn't sure what I was expecting from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
I've seen a lot of online hype about the forthcoming movie starring Emma Watson.
I've also watched our sales improve at work, week by week, as the buzz increases.
I was curious.
I thought this was a going away to college/coming of age story.
Almost, but not quite.
This is aimed a little younger than that.
Charlie is 15. He is befriended by a group of seniors and we see their final year of school through Charlie's filter.
This is also a big year for Charlie as he learns to "participate" more in life and come to terms with some of his own demons.
Although it's never spelt out, Charlie appears to have some form of Asperger's, depression or social anxiety issue.
It is not easy for Charlie to engage with the world; he prefers to watch from the sidelines. He is gifted, extremely emotional and prone to thinking too fast and too much.
All his friend's have issues too. They struggle with love, sex, drugs, drinking, school work and family.
They survive by sticking together - by being open, honest and willing to stuff up. Their music, books and films define their time, help them belong and give them a feeling of being "infinite".
The book is full of quotable quotes - google is littered with them! They're all about growing up, self-awareness, change, hope and love.
Charlie's voice is stuck in my head - "things are good with me, and even when they're not, they will be soon enough. And I will believe the same about you."
His story is one that creeps up on you, grows on you and becomes a part of you.
I'm glad I read the book.
And I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie soon.