LT / We are infinite

12:00:00 AM

"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite."

That sentence is the one that struck me most after reading all 224 pages of Stephen Chbosky's coming-of-age novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Infinite is how Charlie described how he felt while they were driving through a tunnel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, standing at the back of a pick-up truck.

I've actually heard a lot of rave reviews about the book long before the movie came out. When I mentioned to my friend Janel that I've been wanting to buy a copy, she offered to lend me hers. I said yes, of course, thinking I could save a few hundred bucks. But after reading the book, I just had to get my own copy. Right now I have the e-book, but I'll definitely buy the paperback if I find a second-hand one.

Perks of having bookworm friends

The film adaptation was released in 2012, and it was a box office success. So I guess I can just skip writing a synopsis. I actually have not seen the movie yet, although I have heard absolutely glowing reviews from people who have not read the book, as well as from those who have. I think it helps that the author, himself, wrote the screenplay.

But again, I still have to watch the movie, so let's go back to the sentence that struck me most. Life is an aggregate of moments fleeting and lasting, forgettable and memorable, painful and delightful, sad and happy. But of the collective, there are few moments that stand out, that make us feel infinite. These are moments of absolute freedom, and of absolute happiness.

What I especially loved about this book is the strong writing. Charlie narrates the story, over the course of which his teacher, Bill, gives him reading assignments that helped him grow as a writer. It's amazing how his narration evolved, and at the same time remained in character. Charlie is broken, as are most of the other characters, and they are slowly unraveled by circumstance, and by the choices they make.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the product of an unconventional thinker. It's a passport into the mind of a brilliant but broken young man, and into the joys and the struggles of adolescents as they come of age.


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