15. Most Relatable Character in A Book

Patrick from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Taking place in Pittsburgh in the late 80s, a socially awkward kid starts high school as a freshman. Charlie is adopted into a circle of friends who have some troubles, but keep each other in check for the most part. There’s the shared iconic song the group has latched onto, there’s the monthly performances of the Rocky Horror Picture Show to attend, there’s the awkward and random hooking up of various people in the group. I had a similar circle of friends in high school.

I don’t relate to the events that take place in the novel. But, I think anyone who has ever been a teenager will see something of themselves in Patrick, Charlie, or Sam. SPOILERS START NOW!

I relate to Patrick the most. He is the embodiment of the kind of teenager I wish I’d been: brave, bold, with a certain amount of self-confidence. The scene in the cafeteria where he confronts the boy he’s been seeing in front of the baseball team is exactly what I mean. To Patrick, the important part was acknowledging that he had been there when Bobby needed him. To Bobby, Patrick was the embodiment of the thing he couldn’t acknowledge about himself. Who hasn’t had to stand up for themselves in a similar way during a relationship?

The mood and tone of the story complements the setting. Mixed tapes, teenage anthems, and senior skip day pranks with a rumble of teenage angst underneath. How we all have fantastic memories of that time in our lives even when we know now that we were miserable.

The movie is fantastic too. Highly recommended. Ezra Miller was the perfect Patrick.

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