WALLFLOWER by Chad Lutzke
BOOK OF THE WEEK
Hi all! I have read an incredible amount of books this week, but for some reason I decided to share one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. Wallflower by Chad Lutzke is a novella that is seared into my brain forever. Lutzke has a way of writing the most horrific stories in the most beautiful way. He’s one of the greats when it comes to coming of age tales as his stories always feel personal, raw, and with a darkness that won’t let go.
Wallflower really hit home for me. My sister is a heroine addict, so I grew up watching the hold addiction can have on a person. I knew from a young age what kind of an uphill battle it can be. She was fourteen when it started and by the age of sixteen it took her over. It’s a painful life that affects her to this day - she will never know what life is like without it.
The two characters in this story break my heart for very different reasons. The teenager that wants to try it “just this once” and the homeless man who is a veteran addict. When these characters cross paths and spend the rest of the time together, things become dark and hopeless. As always with Lutzke, the character development is exquisite, and in just under 100 pages, he managed to destroy me.
Lutzke made me not only feel how addiction is from the outside in, but also the inside out. I felt like I was in the characters’ heads. I not only recognized the excuses, the stealing, etc., I also felt how easy it is to spiral downwards. I don’t know what else to say except, read it. It’s horror that is all too real.