Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Title:  The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Series:  N/A
Author:  Stephen Chbosky
Publisher:  MTV Books and Pocket Books
Pages:  231
Format:  PDF file

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.
My Review:  I'm not exactly sure what to say about this book.  I have so many feelings swirling within me, it's hard to put it into words.  

I'll start with the style of writing.  This story was written in the form of letters.  Charlie, our main character, is writing to someone he has never met, he's only heard about.  When I think about it now, it is a bit strange for him to do that but Charlie has his reasons.  He never had a great childhood and he feels very alone some of the time.  Still, I was surprised at how well he was able to tell a story through a series of letters.  I'm normally not a fan of this sort of style but I didn't mind this at all because of how clear the story came through.  

I was very interested in the plot, as well.  Charlie was relatable, though he was going through things I could hardly even imagine.  He often had the same feelings I had at times.  He was going through a lot and as much as this was a coming of age story, it also was a bit of a mystery.  I was trying to figure out the details we were missing - the details Charlie had suppressed - at the same time I was just enjoy reading a heart-felt story.  I was amazed at how well the author made us feel.  It was an up and down roller coaster and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.  There were those gut-twisting, hands trembling, tears streaming moments and those wide smile, jumping up and down, tears of joys welling moments.  

The characters were phenomenal.  As I said before, Charlie was easy to relate to and sympathize with and I was cheering for him the whole time.  I wanted to just hop into the book and give him a hug most of the time.  He was not a perfect male protagonist - far from it.  He cried too much and was awkward.  He was naive and a loner.  He was insecure and scarred and a bit broken to tell you the truth.  And I loved him.  He was truly one of the characters that will forever have their place in my heart.  

There was also Patrick and Sam.  Those two . . . I adored them.  They complimented each other perfectly, as well as Charlie.  I loved that they took him under their wings and weren't afraid to be themselves.  Charlie learned things from them and I learned from them as well.  I loved Sam and Charlie's relationship and Patrick and Charlie's relationship.  I loved them all.  Charlies' family was complicated.  They were real.  They all had their own problems, they had their weak moments and sometimes they came back from it and sometimes they didn't.  I liked getting the truth, even if it was hard to swallow at times and even if it made me cry.  

This book was so real.  It is one that I will never forget and will read again and again in my life.

Five Cards



  1. I love this book too! I still haven't seen the movie yet (haven't found time to yet). I totally agree it's very real and it's a great book to read over and over again!

    Crazy Red Pen

  2. I loved this book! I read it years ago, and again a year or so ago. It is a book that I will always hold close to my heart. I need to see the movie, I've heard it's good! I loved your review and you explained it so well!! It is real and one you can never forget!!

    Great review

    Magen Corrie
    ~Corrie the book, crazed girl

  3. Great review. I need to read this book. Especially now the movie is coming out.


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