I posted the quote above on my Facebook wall. I didn’t know where it originated, but it resonated with me.
After I posted the quote, a friend told me it was from the book and advised me not to read it. She said it wasn’t good.
A different friend who knows and shares my snarky personality saw the advice and sent me in the opposite direction. She said I would love the book. She was correct.
The book is about Charlie, a high school student. It is written as a series of strangely relatable letters he writes to a mystery person (If you figure out who he’s writing to, please send me a private message.).
Through his letters, Charlie describes the uncertain and self-conscious life of a teenage boy with details of family drama, dates and love, friends and drugs, and the power of the absolutely perfect song at the exact right moment. “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
Here is one of my favorite scenes depicted in one of Charlie’s letters. It may well describe every family in America.
Do you enjoy holidays with your family? I don’t mean your mom and dad family, but your uncle and aunt and cousin family? Personally, I do. There are several reasons for this. First, I am very interested and fascinated by how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other. Second, the fights are always the same.”
I also love that Charlie loves books. His favorite book is, of course, the last one he read. Here’s what he said after a teacher, Bill, who has taken a special interest in his love of literature and level of intelligence and given him special books to read, gives him a C on his essay about To Kill a Mockingbird:
He said I run my sentences together. I am trying now to practice not to do that. He also said that I should use the vocabulary words that I learn in class like ‘corpulent’ and ‘jaundice.’ I would use them here, but I really dont’ think they are appropriate in this format. To tell you the truth, I don’t know where they are appropriate to use. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t know them. You should absolutely. But I just have never heard anyone use the words ‘corpulent’ and ‘jaundice’ ever in my life. That includes teachers. So, what’s the point of using words nobody else knows or can say comfortably? I just don’t understand that.”
Toward the end of the book, you begin to understand more about why Charlie is a wallflower. Why, as his friends describe, he just sees things, understands them and keeps them quiet. I won’t ruin the book for you, I’ll just tell you to read it and leave you with a final relatable quote from it.
I guess what I’m saying is that this all feels very familiar. But it’s not mine to be familiar about. I just know that another kid has felt this.”
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”