The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

September 25, 2012 Young Adult Book Reviews 2

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: MTV Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 216
Release Date: August 14, 2012 (January 1, 1999)
In My Opinion: Worth a try!
One Line: A very poignant and entertaining read that I really enjoyed.

About the Book: 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. since its publication, stephen chbosky’s haunting debut novel has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, grown into a cult phenomenon with over a million copies in print, and inspired a major motion picture.

the perks of being a wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. Everyone was raving about it, and there’s even a movie about it. So I thought, why not give it a try?!

Well, I’m happy to say that Perks of Being a Wallflower was a refreshing surprise. I really enjoyed reading this one and although it’s very different from what I usually read, it was in a good way. I wasn’t engrossed or didn’t consider it a page-turner in any way, but it was very captivating and easily something that people can relate to in one way or the other.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is told from 15 year old Charlie’s perspective, through his writing letters to “his friend”, which is basically the reader. The book is pretty short and I liked how there were barely any dull or fluff moments, so I finished it fairly quickly. Anyways, Charlie basically writes about his thoughts on being a teenager, spending time with his friends, and his relationship with his family, friends, and school; particularly his English teacher who assigns him a variety of classics to read, which I thought was a nice touch because it gets you curious about it if you haven’t read any of them before, and if you have, it kind of makes you want to revisit them again. Charlie deals with all the typical trials and tribulations of being a teenager, like love and his views on that and so many other things is so simple, yet genuine. I liked that he wasn’t jaded or rude like a lot of teens are today; he just seemed so pure and innocent, even though he does some things that are hardly that.

The other characters were pretty interesting too, especially his family. Probably the one that sticks out to me the most is his sister, who he has the most interaction with and who does some pretty crazy stuff, but is also kind of typical for some teenage girls. Charlie’s friends are fun and endearing. Patrick and Sam are excellent characters with vibrant personalities and it was interesting seeing their mixed group and all the things they went through.

There are definitely a few sad and depressing moments throughout the book, but the melancholy undertone didn’t deter me away from the book at all and there a few happy moments scattered about too. Not to mention the surprise ending I didn’t see coming. The writing is very poignant and well-written, creative and compelling, to say the least. A very short and sweet tale of life through the eyes of a shy, naive teenager that you’ll thoroughly take pleasure in and one you won’t easily forget.

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