I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to seeing how Stephen Chbosky has turned his funny but touching novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower into a motion picture, and not only because the movie stars Logan Lerman, from Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Emma Watson, from the Harry Potter movies, and Ezra Miller, from Royal Pains (one of my favorite TV shows). But also because I want to see how Chbosky transformed his poignant story of a high school loner with a troubled past from a novel of letters written to a “friend” to a movie where so much more will need to be said through the dialogue than just the words.
If you have never read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the story follows Charlie, a fifteen year old boy who is nervous about starting high school. You find out that one of his only friends committed suicide the year before, and now Charlie feels like he is all alone. He doesn’t mind too much, but he does wish he could talk to someone. So he starts writing letters to someone he has never met. He only knows that “she said you would listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could.” Throughout Charlie’s freshman year, he writes to this “friend,” and through these letters you are taken from a first crush to a first acid trip to a trip to an abortion clinic. You see high school at its worst and at its best, as Charlie, the quintessential wallflower, makes unforgettable friends and remembers events from an unforgivable past. Though it all, you find yourself relating to and cheering for this sensitive, confused boy, who only wants the people he loves to be happy.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower will be in limited theatrical release starting Friday, September 21. Check for listings at theaters near you.
The book The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been banned or challenged in many different areas around the country. Banned Books Awareness Week begins September 29. To learn more about Banned Books, check out the American Library Association (ALA) website and check out the banned books displays at your local HPB bookstore.