Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Summary form Goodreads:
Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix-tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.
But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." A quote that has been made famous by this particular novel and more so when the movie adaptation came out. And I admit, it kind of cinched it for me to finally read the book, after a whole lot of time dilly dallying. I am a sucker for quotable quotes, you see. And for anything connected to Logan Lerman...and Emma Watson. :)
Charlie, the main character, is such a "sweetheart". I find that to be the most appropriate word for him. You know, the "aww" type. Sensitive, shy, sweet, and smart. He is a stand-out Contemporary YA figure despite his character being that of a "wallflower." A on the side-line kind of kid. His voice, which I presume is written in a way to illustrate his innocence and youth and his inexperience in social situations in high school (and something else that I'd rather not name because it would be a bit of a spoiler), all came out geniune. He is a great wallflower because he comes out with great observations that are never standoffish or bitter or rude but rather, his own innocent and honest reflection of what he sees. I also have to note how he never changes who he is, despite being thrust into all sorts of things, drugs, sex, partys, and booze. His voice remains Charlie-esque, a word borrowed from Sam, one of his bestfriends. I love that about him. Plus, he is one smart kid. He reads and loves classics! And seems to have such an eclectic taste in music for someone his age.
The story is about this sweet, sweet freshman who is shown the whirlwind and roller coaster ride that is the teenage life, from a couple of seniors that became his closest friends. It was a year that he "participated" and not just merely "observed". In a way it is a coming-of-age kind of story but it was made unusual with the voice of Charlie. It's a story too that tackles something other than the glitzy teenage-hood but also dark themes like abuse and abortion.
I have to say, I might just include this on my best Contemporary YA reads. It's funny and sad all at the same time. But ultimately, in the end, it will just make you smile like an idiot. :)