A Wallflower is someone who is shy and excluded from social ventures and Charlie is the perfect example of this definition.
Charlie is sixteen years old when he joins his new school and everything in his life is about to change; he is going to make friends. Patrick and Sam meet Charlie at a football game at the beginning of the year, both adoring his personality straight away and inviting him to join them in their experiences. Charlie eats brownies cooked with marijuana, touches his first pair of breasts and kisses his first girlfriend; things really have changed.
Through Charlie’s letters to an anonymous recipient, we follow his life as he meets new people, tries new things and changes from a scared, naive wallflower into a more confident version of his former self. He loves to read and wants to be a write one day so his English teacher, Bill, gives him extra assignments on different books to broaden his reading scope.
Charlie has issues with his mental health as he sometimes has visions, or gets angry, and then passes out. This is linked to a trauma not revealed fully in the novel but when you work it out the incredible shock you feel is enough to make you sit down and breathe deeply for a few minutes.
This beautifully written novel is so realistic that as an Adult you are taken back to a time when you were sixteen and what it felt like for you growing up, and as a child your future is clearly depicted in the steps that Charlie takes to make friends and live out his high school experience.