Search This Blog

The Perks of Being a Wallflower By: Stephen Chbosky

Saturday, October 13, 2012
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.
Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

Goodreads Summary

After reading, I found out that this book often provokes controversy when it is assigned reading in classrooms….no surprise there!  In a way, I didn’t want to continue reading because it’s all kind of sad and shocking, but I also had to finish reading.  I wanted to know what happens.  These characters aren’t people that I would have liked or wanted to hang around with in high school.
Charlie, to me, is an impossible high school freshman.  His personality and remarks would be appropriate for a seven year-old boy.  His observations about his sister’s interactions with her boyfriend, about his friend’s homosexuality, about his grandfather’s personality, and about other situations seem childlike.  He says that he won’t be doing drugs again, but he never makes a judgment on the actions of others either.  I often wanted someone to say – hey, that’s wrong!  However, his “wallflower” viewpoint – not judging or participating – does offer a perspective on situations that helps me as a reader.  You wonder how you would react to the book’s situations; you’re just glad that you don’t have to.  The author includes everything a teen might be faced with in high school: drugs, drinking, fooling around, abusive boyfriends, teen suicide, pregnancy, homosexuality, child abuse, etc…  Too Dr. Phil!
In the past though, I often haven’t liked assigned books that were supposed to open up discussion about serious topics; so, maybe I’m not being fair or “smart” with my criticism.  The story is thought-provoking, and I did want to finish reading.

Three Stars     

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Unknown said...:

    I think I'll slip the book but I might catch the movie
    Thanks for sharing your review!


  1. I wish you had enjoyed this book more. I can't help myself! I love this book a lot and have read it twice. It's the kind of book that I can read again and again, and I can't wait to see the movie. I love Emma Watson and Paul Rudd.

    For me, I think the book really touched on how I felt I was a wallflower in high school. I graduated from high school in '99, and Rocky Horror was a big deal for me and my group of friends, which is probably one of my favorite parts of this book. We used to go to a movie theater close by that played it with people acting it out every Saturday night. Those were some of the best times of my life! :D When I went to college, I wanted so badly to try out for acting the movie out, but being a wallflower myself, I never did and regret it.

    My fave line of the book is "I feel infinite." I could identify with that when I was in high school. Not the drugs or sex or some of the other situations Charlie's group of friends get into, but that teenage angst as well as the moments when you feel so good, you feel infinite. :)

    Thanks for sharing your review! :)

  1. Unknown said...:

    we're on the same team mate. I'm not really enjoying the book like I enjoy the movie. But it's an easy and quick read. I'm still glad I read it

  1. Susan T. said...:

    I read this book a long time ago but I remember that I loved it! It's too bad that it wasn't your thing.