I read “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and I was 15 again, listening to Billy Corgan.

I was in the middle of reading another book but got bored and decided to change course. I have heard great things about “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (from  a friend who absolutely hate books like Fifty Shades of Grey= a friend, whose taste I trust), so I thought I’d better read it now before everyone I know sees the movie and ruin it for me.

First off, I thought nothing will ever come close to Catcher in the Rye in my heart, but I was wrong. After a few pages, I was in a time warp and I was back in 1996, and I was 15 again. That was  the year when I wore my contact lenses for the first time. I smoked for the first time. I got drunk for the first time. And it was Gilbey’s gin ( don’t judge).

And more importantly, I fell in love with The Smashing Pumpkins.

That decade was the golden age for alternative rock music and I am glad that I lived and loved through it. The generation that came after us was deprived of something that was immensely remarkable.

It was  a simpler time and I realized it was one of the best years of my life.

I was fighting the tears when I got to this page. When Charlie, Sam and Patrick went for a drive, and they heard  a good song on the radio…” Patrick held his hand outside the car and made air waves…After the song finished, I (Charlie) said something, “I feel infinite”…Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young  in a good way.”

I know exactly what that felt like.

For the first time in a long time, I believe that I have truly given myself something very special. I treasured every single page because it felt like it was my story too.

The nostalgia of my younger years made me ache and happy at the same time, because I’ve always known the song that made me feel “infinite”. At 15 and until now.

It was/is 1979.

Incidentally, it is still the only song that I can play on the bass guitar.

It is the only song that I can play. Period.

If you don’t feel young and more alive after reading this book, you don’t have a soul.

Take me back. The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979 – YouTube.


11 thoughts on “I read “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and I was 15 again, listening to Billy Corgan.

    • It was tragic in some parts but what I can relate to the most is how everything felt bigger than me at that age and I was clueless and confused and it felt both sad and wonderful. What was the book’s effect on you? If you don’t mind me asking? I do hope the film does it justice :).
      Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate it! x

      • It’s still me, just on a different account please don’t get too confused. For me reading it felt like reading the diary of a boy my age, it was strange. After the book I found myself looking at the quiet people in my class and wondering if they were secretly as weird and wonderful as Charlie. I think I was inlove with Charlie at some point aswell haha 🙂
        You have very good taste in books though, mine is Catcher in the Rye aswell, how old were you when you read it?

      • Yes I know! And like any good story, you somehow take him around with you after finishing the book.
        It’s so wonderfully written and it just sticks.
        I was 16 when I read Catcher in the Rye, just a year before I left home for University
        and to this day I still have it in my night stand.
        I’m glad you enjoyed the book as much as I did. 🙂

  1. I haven’t read the book but I can relate to all your teen years musings. I was 15 in 1997 and I as well started with contact lenses, drinking beer and hanging out with friends around that time. And I listened to the radio a lot, enjoying all that alternative rock music that you mention. I still feel very moved when I hear music from that time (including Smashing Pumpkins). What I miss the most about those days, is that the ‘good music’ was just available on the radio (especially on one particular radio station in Belgium). These days all the radio stations in Belgium all play the same generic music that you hear everywhere.

    Aaah, those were the days. I feel kind of old when saying that. It used to be something my parents said 🙂

    By the way, I can recommend a nice movie about nostalgia and love for music. It is called ‘The Boat that Rocked’ or ‘Pirate Radio’ in the US. It is about a pirate radio station in the sixties and it is very funny.

  2. I know, right? And if you love the song so much, you buy the cd (or cassette tape) from your local music store, you come home and you listen to it over and over again. And it was simple and cool like that. I do feel sad about the ‘generic’ music we hear on the radio now (especially the U.S). Although I can appreciate all sorts of genres, how many times can you put “ass” in a song? Seriously. I’m so out of touch and it’s never gonna be as good as it was. ( I do sound like an old lady).

    I loved ‘ The Boat that Rocked’! but I still haven’t seen ‘Pirate Radio”, but I surely will.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and recommendations!
    May the force be with all of us 90’s babies! xx

    • It’s a coming-of-age book (I’m thinking of giving this to my friend’s daughter who is about to go to boarding school actually) and I highly recommend it to anyone who value their family and friendships. In my case, it was nostalgic because I was in my teens in the 90’s, which was the timeline of the story. It’s a very easy and enjoyable read that will linger in your memory. If you have a whole afternoon free, reading this would be the best way to spend it.

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