I was thirteen years old when The Perk of Being a Wallflower was published by MTV Books and it seemed like it was the perfect age for me to transition from Where the Red Fern Grows and The Red Pony to something a little more relatable to my hormonal young self.
Sex! Drugs! Weird emotions!
This book had it. To top it off, it took place in Pittsburgh, a place very much familiar to my young self. How neat it seemed to me to visualize the places being described. I passed my copy onto friends who were equally entranced (or confused) by the provocative book. While a silly book as an adult (I tried picking it up for a reread a few years ago and put it down so that I did not further tarnish my memory of it), I suppose that’s somewhat of the point. Isn’t silliness much of what defined our young adolescent years? It’s a time when we define ourselves by music we listen to (“Music is my world,” teenagers often proclaim), movies we watch, and books we read. It’s a time when we are just realizing the truths behind sex, when drugs seem mysterious, dangerous, and tempting.
The adaptation of the Stephen Chbosky novel has been long in the works. Adapted and directed by author Chbosky himself, the movie stars Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller (who made a splash in this year’s We Need to Talk About Kevin), Nina Dobrev, and Paul Rudd.
While this adaptation looks to be a generic coming-of-age tale (albeit with beautiful shots of Pittsburgh, coming out of the tunnel into the city, of course) and I don’t have much interest in seeing it, I’m sure it will open up some strange feelings for young adolescents all over, those trying to break away from playing with their Barbies and G.I. Joes to discover for themselves a little bit about life, love, sex, and drugs.
Check out the trailer and be sure to leave your thoughts below.