I accidentally read The Perks of Being a Wallflower a week before the theatrical release last Friday. A friend had recommended it, somewhat out of thin air, and not wanting to disappoint, dutifully read it within a week.
I knew quickly why he connected to the text as the young characters explore their homosexuality and general frustration. The references to watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show over and over again also resonated with my own time as a high school outsider. The whole narrative is presented series of letters, but unlike earlier epistolary novels (here’s looking at you, Pamela), the book unfolds with a rapid pace, the same hectic rush of memories of high school.
Of course there are the awkward moments we’ve all lived through and hopefully, never again will face. On the other hand, it seem that it capture a very specific moment in history, the upper middle class white suburban high school experience that its authenticity leaves it outdated and irrelevant to anyone under the age of twenty-five. Still, I’ll probably end up watching Hermione Granger feign an American accent and struggle pronouncing things like “Olive Garden.”