The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

4.4 192
by Stephen Chbosky

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Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky

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Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

A #1 New York Times best seller for more than a year, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (2000) and Best Book for Reluctant Readers (2000), and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.

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Editorial Reviews

Denise Kersten
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is part of an MTV Books series that targets teen-age readers. But it is more mature than most young adult literature and can be enjoyed by older readers as well.
USA Today
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A trite coming-of-age novel that could easily appeal to a YA readership, filmmaker Chbosky's debut broadcasts its intentions with the publisher's announcement that ads will run on MTV. Charlie, the wallflower of the title, goes through a veritable bath of bathos in his 10th grade year, 1991. The novel is formatted as a series of letters to an unnamed "friend," the first of which reveals the suicide of Charlie's pal Michael. Charlie's response — valid enough — is to cry. The crying soon gets out of hand, though — in subsequent letters, his father, his aunt, his sister and his sister's boyfriend all become lachrymose. Charlie has the usual dire adolescent problems — sex, drugs, the thuggish football team — and they perplex him in the usual teen TV ways. He hangs out with a group of seniors, among whom are Patrick and Samantha. Patrick is gay, and Charlie learns about gay. Sam is pretty, and Charlie learns about heartbreak. Sam is, alas, going out with Craig. Charlie goes out with the uppity Mary Elizabeth. Patrick goes with Brad but breaks up with him when Brad's father discovers their relationship. Into these standard teenage issues Chbosky infuses a droning insistence on Charlie's supersensitive disposition. Charlie's English teacher and others have a disconcerting tendency to rhapsodize over Charlie's giftedness, which seems to consist of Charlie's unquestioning assimilation of the teacher's taste in books. In the end we learn the root of Charlie's psychological problems, and we confront, with him, the coming rigors of 11th grade, ever hopeful that he'll find a suitable girlfriend and increase his vocabulary.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 UpAn epistolary narrative cleverly places readers in the role of recipients of Charlies unfolding story of his freshman year in high school. From the beginning, Charlies identity as an outsider is credibly established. It was in the spring of the previous school year that his best friend committed suicide and now that his class has gone through a summer of change, the boy finds that he has drifted away from old friends. He finds a new and satisfying social set, however, made up of several high school seniors, bright bohemians with ego-bruising insights and, really, hearts of gold. These new friends make more sense to Charlie than his star football-playing older brother ever did and they are able to teach him about the realities of life that his older sister doesnt have the time to share with him. Grounded in a specific time (the 1991/92 academic year) and place (western Pennsylvania), Charlie, his friends, and family are palpably real. His grandfather is an embarrassing bigot; his new best friend is gay; his sister must resolve her pregnancy without her boyfriends support. Charlie develops from an observant wallflower into his own man of action, and, with the help of a therapist, he begins to face the sexual abuse he had experienced as a child. This report on his life will engage teen readers for years to come.Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Aspiring filmmaker/first-novelist Chbosky adds an upbeat ending to a tale of teenaged angst-the right combination of realism and uplift to allow it on high school reading lists, though some might object to the sexuality, drinking, and dope-smoking. More sophisticated readers might object to the rip-off of Salinger, though Chbosky pays homage by having his protagonist read Catcher in the Rye.

Like Holden, Charlie oozes sincerity, rails against celebrity phoniness, and feels an extraliterary bond with his favorite writers (Harper Lee, Fitzgerald, Kerouac, Ayn Rand, etc.). But Charlie's no rich kid: the third child in a middle-class family, he attends public school in western Pennsylvania, has an older brother who plays football at Penn State, and an older sister who worries about boys a lot. An epistolary novel addressed to an anonymous "friend," Charlie's letters cover his first year in high school, a time haunted by the recent suicide of his best friend. Always quick to shed tears, Charlie also feels guilty about the death of his Aunt Helen, a troubled woman who lived with Charlie's family at the time of her fatal car wreck. Though he begins as a friendless observer, Charlie is soon pals with seniors Patrick and Sam (for Samantha), stepsiblings who include Charlie in their circle, where he smokes pot for the first time, drops acid, and falls madly in love with the inaccessible Sam. His first relationship ends miserably because Charlie remains compulsively honest, though he proves a loyal friend (to Patrick when he's gay-bashed) and brother (when his sister needs an abortion). Depressed when all his friends prepare for college, Charlie has a catatonic breakdown, whichresolves itself neatly and reveals a long-repressed truth about Aunt Helen.

A plain-written narrative suggesting that passivity, and thinking too much, lead to confusion and anxiety. Perhaps the folks at (co-publisher) MTV see the synergy here with Daria or any number of videos by the sensitive singer-songwriters they feature.

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Product Details

MTV Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Media Tie-In
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

From Part One

August 25, 1991

Dear friend,

I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don't try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don't want you to do that. I will call people by different names or generic names because I don't want you to find me. I didn't enclose a return address for the same reason. I mean nothing bad by this. Honest.

I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist.

I think you of all people would understand that because I think you of all people are alive and appreciate what that means. At least I hope you do because other people look to you for strength and friendship and it's that simple. At least that's what I've heard.

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

I try to think of my family as a reason for me being this way, especially after my friend Michael stopped going to school one day last spring and we heard Mr. Vaughn's voice on the loudspeaker.

"Boys and girls, I regret to inform you that one of our students has passed on. We will hold a memorial service for Michael Dobson during assembly this Friday."

I don't know how news travels around school and why it is very often right. Maybe it was in the lunchroom. It's hard to remember. But Dave with the awkward glasses told us that Michael killed himself. His mom played bridge with one of Michael's neighbors and they hear said that he suspected that Michael had "problems at home" and didn't feel like he had anyone to talk to. That's maybe why he felt all alone and killed himself.

Then, I started screaming at the guidance counselor that Michael could have talked to me. And I started crying even harder. He tried to calm me down by saying that he meant an adult like a teacher or a guidance counselor. But it didn't work and eventually my brother came by the middle school in his Camaro to pick me up.

For the rest of the school year, the teachers treated me different and gave me better grades even though I didn't get any smarter. To tell you the truth, I think I made them all nervous.

Michael's funeral was strange because his father didn't cry. And three months later he left Michael's mom. At least according to Dave at lunchtime. I think about it sometimes. I wonder what went on in Michael's house around dinner and TV shows. Michael never left a note or at least his parents didn't let anyone see it. Maybe it was "problems at home." I wish I knew. It might make me miss him more clearly. It might have made sad sense.

One thing I do know is that it makes me wonder if I have "problems at home" but it seems to me that a lot of other people have it a lot worse. Like when my sister's first boyfriend started going around with another girl and my sister cried for the whole weekend.

My dad said, "There are other people who have it a lot worse."

And my mom was quiet. And that was that. A month later, my sister met another boy and started playing happy records again. And my dad kept working. And my mom kept sweeping. And my brother kept fixing his Camaro. That is, until he left for college at the beginning of the summer. He's playing football for Penn State but he needed the summer to get his grades right to play football.

I don't think that there is a favorite kid in our family. There are three of us and I am the youngest. My brother is the oldest. He is a very good football player and likes his car. My sister is very pretty and mean to boys and she is in the middle. I get straight A's now like my sister and that is why they leave me alone.

My mom cries a lot during TV programs. My dad works a lot and is an honest man. My Aunt Helen used to say that my dad was going to be too proud to have a midlife crisis. It took me until around now to understand what she meant by that because he just turned forty and nothing has changed.

My Aunt Helen was my favorite person in the whole world. She was my mom's sister. She got straight A's when she was a teenager and she used to give me books to read. My father said that the books were a little too old for me, but I liked them so he just shrugged and let me read.

My Aunt Helen lived with the family for the last few years of her life because something very bad happened to her. Nobody would tell me what happened then even though I always wanted to know. When I was around seven, I stopped asking about it because I kept asking like kids always do and my Aunt Helen started crying very hard.

That's when my dad slapped me, saying, "You're hurting your aunt Helen's feelings!" I didn't want to do that, so I stopped. Aunt Helen told my father not to hit me in front of her ever again and my father said this was his house and he would do what he wanted and my mom was quiet and so were my brother and sister.

I don't remember much more than that because I started crying really har d and after a while my dad had my mom take me to my room. It wasn't until much later that my mom had a few glasses of white wine and told me what happened to her sister. Some people really do have it a lot worse than I do. They really do.

I should probably go to sleep now. It's very late. I don't know why I wrote a lot of this down for you to read. The reason I wrote this letter is because I start high school tomorrow and I am really afraid of going.

Love always,

September 7, 1991

Dear friend,

I do not like high school. The cafeteria is called the "Nutrition Center," which is strange. There is this one girl in my advanced english class named Susan. In middle school, Susan was very fun to be around. She liked movies, and her brother Frank made her tapes of this great music that she shared with us. But over the summer she had her braces taken off, and she got a little taller and prettier and grew breasts. Now, she acts a lot dumber in the hallways, especially when boys are around. And I think it's sad because Susan doesn't look as happy. To tell you the truth, she doesn't like to admit she's in the advanced english class, and she doesn't like to say "hi" to me in the hall anymore.

When Susan was at the guidance counselor meeting about Michael, she said that Michael once told her that she was the prettiest girl in the whole world, braces and all. Then, he asked her to "go with him," which was a big deal at any school. They call it "going out" in high school. And they kissed and talked about movies, and she missed him terribly because he was her best friend.

It's funny, too, because boys and girls normally weren't best friends around my school. But Michael and Susan were. Ki nd of like my Aunt Helen and me. I'm sorry. "My Aunt Helen and I." That's one thing I learned this week. That and more consistent punctuation.

I keep quiet most of the time, and only one kid named Sean really seemed to notice me. He waited for me after gym class and said really immature things like how he was going to give me a "swirlie," which is where someone sticks your head in the toilet and flushes to make your hair swirl around. He seemed pretty unhappy as well, and I told him so. Then, he got mad and started hitting me, and I just did the things my brother taught me to do. My brother is a very good fighter.

"Go for the knees, throat, and eyes."

And I did. And I really hurt Sean. And then I started crying. And my sister had to leave her senior honors class and drive me home. I got called to Mr. Small's office, but I didn't get suspended or anything because a kid told Mr. Small the truth about the fight.

"Sean started it. It was self-defense."

And it was. I just don't understand why Sean wanted to hurt me. I didn't do anything to him. I am very small. That's true. But I guess Sean didn't know I could fight. The truth is I could have hurt him a lot worse. And maybe I should have. I thought I might have to if he came after the kid who told Mr. Small the truth, but Sean never did go after him. So, everything was forgotten.

Some kids look at me strange in the hallways because I don't decorate my locker, and I'm the one who beat up Sean and couldn't stop crying after he did it. I guess I'm pretty emotional.

It has been very lonely because my sister is busy being the oldest one in our family. My brother is busy being a football player at Penn State. After the training camp, his coach sa id that he was second string and that when he starts learning the system, he will be first string.

My dad really hopes he will make it to the pros and play for the Steelers. My mom is just glad he gets to go to college for free because my sister doesn't play football, and there wouldn't be enough money to send both of them. That's why she wants me to keep working hard, so I'll get an academic scholarship.

So, that's what I'm doing until I meet a friend here. I was hoping that the kid who told the truth could become a friend of mine, but I think he was just being a good guy by telling.

Love always,

Copyright © 1999 by Stephen Chbosky

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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.4 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 192 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perks is the kind of book that falls into your lap after a friend of a friend of a friend read it and passed it along until it came to you. That's exactly how I got my hands on it in the late 90's when I was still in high school. Once I finished the passed around copy, I went and bought a fresh one for myself. Once my younger sister started high school, I bought her a copy and she started the chain all over again. I specifically remember reading this book the first time and feeling like I understood Charlie exactly. Everyone has felt as he does at one point or another, and that what makes you really feel for him. When you get to the end you feel sad that your friend has moved on and you find yourself wondering how he is and what he's up to. It's hard not to get wrapped up on this story and feel close with the characters. I laugh and cry and the same parts each time I read it. I still have my original copy from the 90's, and I keep it by my bed to this day as a 30 year old adult. Obviously, I highly recommend this book not because you'll necessarily remember what happened, but because you'll remember how it made you feel. This book put a lot of things into perspective for me as a young person, and still sticks with me 15 years later. That should say something of this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very tender story that I am rereading even though I just finished it this morning. It's one of the rare books that has me surrounded even when I am not reading.
risuena More than 1 year ago
Interesting glimpse into when teenagers find themselves. When I started the book, I liked how the author wrote it in the style of letters. It made the first person narrative more entertaining and different in comparison to telltaling through a diary. After several pages, I found myself questioning Charlie's age compared with his experiences and his level of writing. Some of the things he's becoming aware of like death, girls, or other people's feelings seem like it should be through the eyes of a 6th grader, even his writing reflects this. So I thought either Charlie was delayed in some way or the author has forgotten the coming of age period. But then the author mixes in driving lessons, drugs, and leaving for college in so I think the issue is with Charlie himself. As you read further, you see the changes and progress he's made, you find what's affected him that he's blocked out, and you end in seeing him in a better place than where he's started. The author doesn't concentrate on any issue thoroughly but gives us a whirlwind glimpse of teenage issues, feelings, and thoughts-from contemplation of suicide, losing a friend to suicide, losing family and friends either from death, moving on, or fights, first love, making friends, awareness of other people's feelings, abuse, smoking, homosexuality, teenage pregnacy, therapy, etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not much of a reader; I tend to stick to whatever I have to read for school and books that come out with movies. Usually, when a movie comes out for a book that I haven't read yet, I don't let myself see the movie until I have read the book. I have finally read this book and I can't wait to see the movie! Although I am no longer in high school, I was able to relate to a lot of what happened in this book. Chbosky did an amazing job telling a story about the many rites of passage that teenagers may go through. No one reader will be able to perfectly relate to Charlie's life, but many of us have experienced at least one similar event or another that occurs in the story. While I was reading this book, I kept trying to imagine how I would respond to Charlie's letters if he were writing to me and if I were to write back. A lot of what happens to Charlie can be hard for readers to feel without experiencing the events themselves but, to me, the author's writing allowed me to feel like I was in Charlie's shoes. Throughout the story, I felt Charlie's pain, joy, fear, love, and many other emotions that he was experiencing during his unpredictable journey of his first year of high school. I would recommend this book to high school students and to anyone who is older. This book could be used as a guide to survive situations like Charlie's, or as a tool to reflect on experiences of the past and how they could have been taken on or perceived through a different set of eyes. I truly enjoyed reading this book and I am anxious to see how the movie will compare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the Perks of Being a Wallflower the main character, Charlie is a freshmen in high school. Charlie is shy and doesn't really have friends. The conflict is internal because he is contemplating everything. In the story charlie opens up when he meets his friend Sam and Patrick.Charlie stubbles upon Patrick and finds out his secret. Charlie also develops a relationship, but doesn't really last. The thing i liked about this book is that its a fast paste reading book and the author 
TR1221 More than 1 year ago
The book I read was The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky. This book is mostly about the main character, Charlie & how he doesn’t have a lot of friends. And how he’s scared about his freshman year of high school because he doesn’t really know anyone. He goes to one of the school’s football games and he meets Sam & Patrick. They’re brother and sister. They all become really good friends until Charlie starts falling in love with Sam and ruins their friendship. The strength of this book is that it’s written in a series of letters that only goes to one person. This might be better for people if they like to read stories that jump around and if the reader is able to remember things that happened awhile ago in the book. The main character Charlie is like making a journal to this kid who he doesn’t really know, but he just found his address in the phonebook and just started talking to him and telling him about his life. A major weakness of this of this book is that it jumps around from one place to another. In the story it kind of starts to talk about Charlie and his friends, then he goes right to his aunt who died a while ago. He compares a bunch of things to other things that happened in the book at different times. This is an issue because it makes this book difficult to read.  My personal thoughts about this book is that it’s an amazing book and personally I liked it. It was very interesting going through and learning about Charlie’s life. Also all of the things that he went through his freshman year of high school. Including getting to know the other characters (Patrick and Sam) I liked reading about all different topics instead of just reading about one topic and figuring out more about it.  I would recommend this book to anyone really, it’s not a book that should be just for just one type of person. I think its for all different kind especially high schoolers because it mostly is what some of them are going through, I think that a lot of people would like this book because its very interesting and it doesn't really get boring at any parts. It always gives new information  to read about. I think its a very good book and anyone could read it if they wanted too. This book is very unique. 
Joceyxs More than 1 year ago
 This book is what high school students can relate to. How it was sad when everyone leaves. How incoming freshmen will go through in high school. It is such a great book to read   And experience what people go through in high school.
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jbamdas More than 1 year ago
The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky, is mostly about a boy named Charlie.  He doesn’t have many friends and he is scared about his freshman year of high school because he doesn’t really know anyone. He attends a school football games and he meets Sam and Patrick.  They all become really good friends until Charlie starts falling in love with Sam and ruins their friendship.¿This book is written in a series of letters that is addressed to one person.  One of Charlie’s friends committed suicide and he has been writing letters to him everyday.  My thoughts about this book is that it’s unique and gets very personal and deep. I loved this novel, because it was interesting going through and learning about Charlie’s life. In addition to all the things that he went through his freshman year of high school.  I think this novel is for all different kinds of people.  But, I would mostly recommend it to high schoolers because it shows what some of them are going through, I think that a lot of people would like this book because it has potential and doesn’t have any dead spots.  There is always something dramatic or interesting going on.  This is a coming-of-age novel that does have some content in it such as drugs, sex, and alcohol.  But, the author, Stephen Chbosky, was able to make a realistic story about a teenage boy going through a tough time.  Many people can relate to this.  I know I can, and I’m sure you can too.  It would be a smart decision for you to read this novel.  It gives you great advice and shows you the personal secrets of being a teenager. ¿¿
kindofodd More than 1 year ago
LOVE LOVE LOVE PRAISE! Great movie and book, I loved reading this I got super emotional and attached. GREAT READ. I found myself relating to this story so well due to the fact in many situations I see things but never speak on them and don't really judge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just_dejv More than 1 year ago
At first I thought it was strange that it was written almost like a diary format but as letters. But then once you get use to it you appreciate more of the main characters personality. This is a very good book and if you like coming of age type genres I say go for it and buy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the book Perks of Being a Wallflower, there are three main characters. They are three teens that don’t exactly fit in. They’re names are Sam, Patrick, and Charlie. This book is told from Charlie’s point of view. All three teens face their own personal problems. One the memory of being molested, another being a gay relationship, and Charlie’s being a little bit more then you’d think. . Charlie must battle his own depression throughout the books. Throughout the book he has a hard time with that. One point where things start picking up is when Charlie meets Sam and Patrick, step siblings, for the first time and go to Charlie’s first party. At this part someone gets Charlie baked. Another point would be when Charlie gets involved in a fight with Patrick and brad. You’ll have to read to find out about the fight but Charlie stepping in caused his friends to talk to him after they haven’t been speaking. As Charlie gains his friends back, he emotionally becomes more stable. I really liked how very descriptive Charlie describes everything. Like when he described the house of the party he went to. I also like that I feel like I have a connection to Charlie because in some ways we relate and we share the same birthday. It mentions this date throughout the book because it holds a very key event in Charlie’s past that is a big part in the story. Lastly in kind of didn’t like how much Charlie talked about the books he read and other random things he’d mention. At the same time it adds good character to him. I strongly recommend this book because it is a nice easy read and is a very catching book. Meaning that this book will get you intrigued. Personally I love these kinds of books, but who wouldn’t. You should give it a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one sitting!!!! I can't believe how great it was. Very well written, very true to life. 
Pennib More than 1 year ago
In The Perks of the Being a Wallflower, the precocious protagonist Charlie takes us through the roiling cesspool that is freshman year of high school. No hideous hunk of it bypasses the plot - bullying, school fights, drugs, unrequited love, abortion, suicide, child abuse. But we're not left to drown here. There's also love, comradery, compassion, forgiveness, and redemption. Charlie survives the gauntlet of freshman year, less naïve, less fearful, and on track to better things. Stephen Chbosky transmits his story through letters. The recipient of the letters is anonymous, though presumably a girl also in high school. The style is easy and therefore believable, and it matures with the protagonist. Through this vernacular, Charlie expresses profound visions of his world - a critique of those who insist on verbosity. Out in the world, it isn't uncommon to feel the insinuation that the centers of attention have monopolies on value and respect - the football star, the celebrity, the pop musician, the talk show host. Even the language for the shadow-chasers betrays the bias toward the sponges of attention. A wallflower merely decorates the walls like wallpaper, useless to the events that take place in the room. A sideliner ought to be in the game, but for one reason or another, watches others do the action. But contrary to the language itself, Chbosky proposes an alternative system of worth. Through the eyes of a reserved freshman in high school, he shows the value in the observer. Naturally then, the story is an affirmation to the reader who is a wallflower. It legitimizes the life outside of football, outside of popularity. Outside of these, Charlie refines his observations and reflections, he plies the craft of writing, he sees firsthand the spectrum of high school life, and he takes part in strong relationships with other misfits. There's more enduring value in these than in the stereotypical high school scene of mindless jocks and flaunting bimbos. "You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand." This is the wallflower, according to Charlie's friend Patrick. Quiet observation, introspection, reflection - the praiseworthy traits that the jocks and bimbos stereotypically lack. While Chbosky values this rendition of the wallflower, he doesn't exult all qualities a wallflower might have. Explicitly, he admonishes the tendency to trap oneself eternally in a solitary state of thinking. So, apart from telling a story, the book offers a challenge, a moral of sorts. When we read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, we become the wallflowers and the non-participants who watch Charlie the wallflower develop, the non-participant participating, the sideliner breaking from forever thinking alone. Though fictional, Charlie's story is plausible and leads our imaginations to realize that it's entirely possible for us the readers to emulate Charlie and brave the tangles of our own worlds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Adriana-C More than 1 year ago
I read The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, in the beginning of my 8th grade year. It was recommended to me by an older friend and as soon as I picked up the book, I just read straight through it, without interruption. It is a amazing and painful story about a 15 year old boy, Charlie, moving through his freshmen year of high school. Charlie has always been an outcast, isolated from everyone else. Starting highschool seems like a big obstacle for him because of this. That is, until he meets two people who will change his perspective on life. Sam and Patrick, Charlie’s newfound friends are the most dynamic and full of life individuals that you will ever come across. The book is written in letter form to an unknown friend. Throughout the book, Charlie is painfully honest about everything that happens to him. He has been through alot, in just those 15 years. He tells us of his experiences, his pain, his isolation, his hardships, his needs, his heart breaks, everything. He makes us feel connected to him, as if we knew him his whole life.   This book is so well written that it pulls you in, almost making you feel as if you were part of the book. We feel ecstatic when Charlie describes his happy moments, and we are struck in pain when Charlie is overwhelmed by his depression.  With alot of twists and unexpected scenes, you will be on the edge of your seat. This is what makes the book so amazing. It touches on all the subjects that are needed to be touched. It gives us a brief glimpse of what to expect when entering a new environment, or in this case, high school.  This book is about moments, and being as much alive as possible within each moment. This book should not be restrained to a certain "group" of people. However, I believe that it would be better understood by everyone aged 12 and up just because by then you would have been exposed to most of the aspects that this book deals with.This book changes you, if only for a moment, but you are not the same by the end, you come to realize that you should live in the now and appreciate everything that you got, because when the moment is gone you will be too late. 
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I'd just like to say that this book changed my life. It made me braver and helped me branch out. I developed as a writer because of this book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books right under the hunger games. It is sad, happy, eye opining and beautiful. Thus book isn't just a book, its a work of art.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
This nifty little book, perhaps the closest thing to a turn-of-the-twenty-first-century Bildungsroman that’s ever been written, effectively depicts the angst of contemporary adolescence just before the advent of cell phones, social networking, and virtual ubiquity. Charlie, our epistolary narrator, tells his story through letters written to an unnamed “friend.” There seems to be nothing unusual or unique about Charlie—he lives with his loving parents, his older sister and his older brother, who is away at college (Penn State, to be precise) playing football. He experiences the anxiety and unexpected joys typical of most ninth graders. He becomes friends with step-siblings Patrick and Samantha, who support him and love him and introduce him a wide variety of people. Charlie stumbles through his first crush, his first date, his first kiss. Charlie also happens to be extraordinarily sensitive and unusually kind. It’s all very sweet and endearing. His acute sensitivity sometimes sparks odd behavior—a lack of communicativeness, aimless wandering, almost catatonia. It becomes clear that something very troubling is occurring beneath Charlie’s sweet demeanor. That something is ultimately revealed at the end of this poignant novel, and the source of Charlie’s underlying unease significantly alters our understanding of his adolescent tribulations. Powerful, convincing, and genuine, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” has earned its place alongside classics like “The Catcher in the Rye” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” (The list of books that Charlie’s English teacher gives Charlie to read adds a clever postmodern intertextuality to the story).