Best of: books for ages 14-18 #1: ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky
This 1999 coming-of-age novel featured on the New York Bestseller list and has stayed in the hearts of the many who have read it since then. Told through letters (known as ‘in epistolary form’), the novel charts the story of Charlie, as he likes to be known, who skirts the edge of society in high school.
Quite short and very easy to read, the letters deal with typically ‘teenage’ issues such as drugs, popularity and suicide. It is also the story of friendship between Charlie and his fellow ‘misfits’. Passionate and exciting, it is the story everyone needs to learn how to deal with secondary school that bit better.
It’s known for being very quotable – gems from the book include, “We accept the love we feel we deserve” and “Everybody loves each other but no-one really likes each other.” A story of self-discovery, it does what every teenage literary classic needs to, which is to speak to those who are in a stage of permanent becoming, and gives them the strength to carry on.
By the same author: a number of screenplays, including the musical ‘Rent’ and the film adaptation of ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’, which was adapted into a hit 2012 film with Emma Watson.