If any of you know me–really know me–you know that my all-time favorite book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I love it so much for reasons so deeply ingrained in me that it’s almost impossible for me to explain it to people. I usually just wind up saying, “Here. Read it. Remember high school while you do.”
When Neil and I started dating, this was the first book of mine that I had him read–after I managed to partially recover from the shock that came with finding a boy to date who actually likes books. Having him read Perks was definitely a (probably not-so-subtle) dating test, a “I cannot date if you if you don’t see the obvious beauty that is this book” kind of test. The result? He stayed up until 4:00 a.m. that night to finish it. And now we’ve been dating for almost a year.
I’m going to try not to wax poetic here. What I love most about Perks is easily Stephen Chbosky’s awareness of life and his way of communicating that to us. He takes emotions, situations, and struggles that we’re all familiar with and finds a way to name them, concisely and beautifully. Things you didn’t even know could be described. But he does it, and you know exactly what he’s talking about.
Given, the book is full of teen angst. It is high school, after all. But really now, who didn’t have their fair share of angsty years? And isn’t it good to be reminded of it all? If I could, I would quote the entire book to you, but that would be quite illegal, so I’ll stick to my favorite moments of soul-speak.
Perks is written as a series of letters from an anonymous boy to an unidentified recipient, and it has one of my favorite opening lines ever–one of those things that I love so much but can’t quite explain why.
“I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.”
It also has one of my favorite descriptions of those perfect moments of friendship and life where everything just . . . clicks quietly.
“But the amazing thing was that it wasn’t a bad sad at all. It was just something that made everyone look around at each other and know they were there. Sam and Patrick looked at me. And I looked at them. And I think they knew. Not anything specific really. They just knew. And I think that’s all you can ever ask from a friend.”
Then finally, what I feel may be the most perfect line ever, the most perfect description of the indescribable.
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
I’m writing this post because tonight I get to go see the movie! It’s opening night and I am pumped! Not as pumped as I was to receive a SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK, though. My friend Stephanie worked on the movie and when she found out how in love I am with the book, she offered to try to get me an autograph and she got it! Now I have my original copy (complete with underlines and highlights from my angsty years), my signed copy, and plans to get the movie edition to complete my little collection!
Now I’m off to see the movie I hope does justice to my favorite book! And sit through all the credits until I see Stephanie’s name!