50. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower was recommended to me back in high school and I never got around to it. When I finally did, I thought it might have been too late. Then, I started reading.
Charlie is truly an unforgettable character. His view of the world is heartbreakingly open and thoughtful, curious as a baby and much more articulate. But the atmosphere that he evokes, of one small group, one facet within a high school builds an incredibly intoxicating, and, for me, nostalgic atmosphere. His friends are quirky and interesting, they're real people. And Chbosky seems to know that even when things get complicated, in spite or because of all the intense fear and sorrow that teenagers are capable of feeling, things can still feel like magic, or in Charlie's words "infinite."
I don't think I can write a very unbiased review of this book. To me, it felt poetic, lyrical, pitch-perfect. I suspect those who are fans of '90s indie bands would appreciate the references much more and I do like the distinctly '90s feel, because that's when I grew up too. But I have a feeling it's a book that will transcend the decades.