I have to preface this by saying this book is not for the faint of heart or people who are easily triggered by mental health issues or sexual misconduct. I will also say that if you enjoyed the movie, you’ll like the book even more.
This book is told through letters written by Charlie, our main man in the novel. It’s set during his freshman year of high school, soon after his best friend commited suicide. The entirety of the novel basically centers around his life, and his struggles, told in a very simplistic yet jarring way. It revolves around making friendships, identity, and even learning to cope with trauma.
A key thing I wanted to highlight is basically the writing style, since it’s partly experimental considering the letter formatting, the inclusion of parts instead of chapters, and the anonymity of the characters to the receiver (trust me it all gets explained in the first letter if you’re confused) .
Besides the style, there is also how strange and transcendiary it became for me when it hit how Charlie was relatable to so many people, including me. It dramatizes the naivety of teenagers that “adults” stereotypically associated with the demographic. What I love is how the book decided to show instead the maturity and capability of teenagers to handle difficult subject matters. All due to the awareness of the stereotype, and believing that adults won’t be able to help/understand situations.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who’s curious about it.