The Perks of Being a Wallflower
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  528,843 ratings  ·  32,589 reviews
Charlie is a freshman.

And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his year yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dr...more
Library Binding, 213 pages
Published February 1st 1999 by Turtleback Books (first published 1999)
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MizzSandie
(this review has been rewritten in july 2013. The ultimate opinion and meaning is the same, though the communication of it, has changed.)

DISCLAIMER:

I did not like this book.

I am about to try to explain why that is so, here, in my own, personal review space. I am critiqing this book, based on my own opinions, personal taste, experiences and perspective, criteria and standards for literary work. It is entirely subjective, as I think all reviews, per definition, are.

I mean no disrespect to the pe...more
Reynje
If, like me, you lurk on frequent tumblr, you will have realised that there is only so far you can scroll before you hit something like this:

Photobucket

Stephen Chbosky’s epistolary novel has something of a cult following, and the quotes that litter the internet seem almost anthemic, given the passion with which they are re-blogged, quoted, slapped across artfully light-leaked photographs and “liked”.

A generation appears to have adopted The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and by extension it’s narrator Charl...more
Sandee (The Whimsical Reader)
Wallflower (noun)

a shy or retiring person who remains unnoticed at social events, especially a woman without a dance partner


I decided to read this book not because there was going to be a movie coming out soon.
It one of the reasons but then again it wasn’t the main one.
I wanted to read it because the word “wallflower” caught my attention.

I was a wallflower.
I was not one of those kids people notice immediately.
I was one of those people who blends in very well that I was no longer noticeable.
I wa...more
Tatiana
Dec 01, 2011 Tatiana rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lifetime movies fans
Recommended to Tatiana by: book club pick
There may be a book in the world that can address, just within very few pages, suicide, molestation, domestic abuse, homosexuality, drug use, mental issues, first sexual experiences, rape, abortion, etc., and not sound like a Lifetime movie, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not an example of that.

For me, the straw that broke the camel's back was when I realized that, to add to all of the above mentioned melodrama, the narrator was either emotionally or mentally handicapped. It appeared, C...more
Rachel
As much as people say it, this really is one of my favorite books of all time. MTV promoted it, it got a lot of press, so many people shun it and say it is overrated. I disagree.

I didn't read this book until last year, when I turned 21. My boyfriend owned it, it seemed like a quick read, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Main character Charlie is loveable from the first sentence out of his mouth. There are endless quoteable quotes in this book that had me folding the page over so I...more
Karolina
February 25, 2013

Dear Charlie,

I am writing to you because I feel like you're the only one that would listen to me right now. From all the friends that I have made you are the one that's the most understanding. I guess what I'm trying to do is thank you for being there for me these last couple of days. I didn't expect to learn from you as much as I have. My mom always says that you can never really understand a person until you walk in their shoes, but I guess getting to know you and reading your
...more
Megan
Dec 03, 2013 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high schoolers and beyond
Recommended to Megan by: Kelsey Fernandez
*UPDATE:* I went and saw the movie today and it was a very good movie. Stephen Chbosky directed the movie and it was very true to the book, I would say almost exact. So if you liked the book I would definitely recommend going to see the movie, you will enjoy it!


I have been struggling with how to rate this book since I finished it. I loved this book but then at the same time it was just okay. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I am finally secure with who I am… but in high school that...more
Stephanie
Jan 03, 2008 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This book is beautiful. It is a classic teenager read. I have probably read this book a million times and it never gets old. I love how honest and deep Charlie is. He will get you thinking about the good things and what really matters in life. I am inspired whenever I read this book and I hope you can get as much out of it as I do each and every time.
This is was my book report for school. Hope it helps!


“We are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if...more
Meredith
Jun 06, 2008 Meredith rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone bored. it's an easy read.
Resounding accuracy of the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood, goodreads? Um yeah, maybe if all kids teetering on the brink of adulthood made you question if they were autistic and spent the majority of their free time reading the classics and going to therapy. Don't get me wrong. This book is good. You want to find out what the deal is with the main character for the entire book and at the end, you eventually get a pretty damn good idea. But for the love, this is not the Catcher...more
Emily May
Clueless. I am clueless. The popularity of this book baffles me even more than the popularity of The Fault in Our Stars. Maybe I really am just a coldhearted person with no feelings.

Amazingly, I actually managed to start The Perks of Being a Wallflower knowing absolutely nothing about it. I've avoided all the reviews and hype over the years, I've purposely put off seeing the movie because I wanted to check out the book first. I knew nothing except that so many people LOVE this book. I was a bit...more
K.D. Absolutely
Sep 08, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: ☼~Marian~☼
Shelves: ya
The Perks of Being a Wallflower: A. Free live sex shows but you are not allowed to tell anyone. B. Free LSD mixed in a brownie. C. Free to make out with girls who take fancy on you because you seem to be harmless. D. Free books because you are autistic hence you can finish a challenging book to read like Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” in 12 days and your English teacher wants to challenge you by giving you more and more books to read. E. All of the above. F. None of the above.

I read this novel...more
DC
June 30, 2012

Dear Charlie,

First of all, thank you for sending me your poignant letters. I'm honored you think of me as a person that didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though I could have. I'm ecstatic you decided to allow me to read your thoughts. I'm glad you proved to be such a great letter-writer/story-teller. I am really quite happy about this.

It was nice receiving letters from you, even though they're dated long ago. I know that I got them for only a couple of months (...more
Annalisa
Dec 05, 2011 Annalisa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: language, drugs, sex, gay sex, rape, etc
3. 5 stars.

I almost didn't finish this book. The main character was so hard to figure out. He was supposed to be intelligent but he was so naive. I get being book smart but dumb streetwise, but it was basic social and life knowledge that he didn't get. One minute he seemed wise beyond his years and the next he acted like a child thrust into a teenage life.

There were also a couple of scenes that I didn't think were believable. I almost put the book down (view spoiler)...more
Shirley Marr
Jan 18, 2012 Shirley Marr rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Reynje
Recommended to Shirley by: Tatiana
Shelves: usa-crossover
"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." URGH! I hate that quote! It smacks of a forced whimsy and I bet you that nobody actually knows what it means because they don't want to be outed as a non-cool kid, so everyone pretends that it's deep instead of perhaps the matter of the truth - that it probably doesn't make any sense and therefore means squat all.

This quote just makes me think of this: The Infinite Cat Project. But that type of infinity is better because it a) involves cats and c)...more
Allie
Drugs, abuse, child molestation, anything that would make people cry & be traumatizing for a teenager, it's all here in overdose, injected wherever possible into every character's life. How can the author be such a douche.

I felt emotionally manipulated by this inconsistently written, I'm-trying-to-be-deep-and-real-and-strike-emotional-chords crying fest.

So I Hulk-smashed it into the recycling bin.

God.
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
THIS BOOK ALWAYS BRINGS ME SO MANY FEELS. 3rd time re-reading it and I still feel infinite.
Kristin (KC)
*4.5 Stars*

A touching and emotional portrayal of an ordinary boy finding his significance...


The brilliance and beauty of this book is discreet and quiet. We have Charlie — the awkward, lovable narrator — revealing his story through a consistent flow of letters to a "friend". The letters are candid and based off emotion — exactly what you'd expect from a teenaged perspective. There is no specific plot design; no standard structure this story follows — in fact, at first glance, you may be incline...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

So, I've read this twice now. The first time I read it, I think I was about 14 years old and I believe I originally gave it three stars. But after waiting a few years and reading it again, discussing it with my book group at school, and seeing the movie (which I loved), my appreciation for it has grown immensely. And I think there's a lot of things I missed out on or didn't sympathize with as much when I read it as a younger teenager. Thus, I'm bumping my rating up to 4.5...more
Daniel
Bloody awful.

Imagine this: The Catcher In The Rye was fucked rough by A Million Little Pieces. The zygote's DNA was then re-spliced with 1980's panic journalism and bombarded with x-rays for six months. It was then delivered premature on a bloody altar beneath a full moon and methodically, repeatedly dropped on its head by Chuck Palahniuk.

Any plot whose central premise is an amnesia of the daytime TV variety belongs in a very special category. For me that category is "books to be burned with th...more
Kim
There are certain nuggets… certain lines or sentiments that I stockpile when I read.. I find them on pieces of paper towels or on the back of notebooks, I’ve stopped writing them on my arms since it grosses my husband out…. but they are still there, those little lines of self therapy that I rely on to further my mental wellness and to avoid those damn co-pays.

So, I’m reading yet another YA book about a teen with issues that seem so prevalent these days, I mean, really, what teen doesn’t have is...more
Topher
Dec 26, 2007 Topher rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked catcher in the rye and remember the muppets on tv
Shelves: literature
my life was nothing like his. my life was everything like his.

maybe i was in the right mood today, maybe it just is that damn good. it was everything i remember feeling from high school, from reading catcher in the rye and a separate peace, from driving around down to city line avenue and wandering around hotel hallways looking for room service trays so we could move the spoons, from not understanding how i felt about my best friend at the time, deliberately failing spelling quizzes so i would l...more
Stephen M
Mar 29, 2013 Stephen M rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bookshelf padding
Recommended to Stephen M by: ugh
Shelves: idiot-heart
The most interesting and relatable parts of this book—for me anyway—were the parts about his sickness, whatever that ended up being, exactly. It’s always interesting to me that a book which is ostensibly about a “wallflower”, an outsider, has sold over half a million copies and is considered to be one of the most popular YA novels out there. Either people who read are going to be the types who relate to Charlie anyway, or that we all feel like outsiders in our own skulls, viewing the world from...more
Jenn Pellerin
Feb 25, 2008 Jenn Pellerin rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone without a cynical bone in his or her body
Shelves: crap
Reading this book is kind of like having a too-long conversation at a dull party with one of those people who won't talk about anything but books and bands and movies that everyone and their mom just loves. "Do you like the Smiths?? Have you hear that song Asleep?? Have you heard of this book Catcher in the Rye? Do you make MIX TAPES? Do you struggle with your sexual and social identity? ME TOO?!"
If you are into that sort of thing, feel free. Or you could just go on youtube and watch that "pink...more
Priscilla
What a book! Charlie grows up experiencing so much in a time frame that seems so short.

Initial thoughts:
1. Charlie's letters are written in 1991. 1991!!! Reading this book today makes me so aware of the differences between 15 year olds back then, and 15 year olds today.
2. Charlie is innocent and naive, and as he experiences the world, he remains to be a genuine character. I like that.
3. WOW, there's a lot of issues brought up in this book. From sex, drugs, to issues with family and friends, I wa...more
karen
teens seem to love this book.
Robert
If my high school voice ever appeared in novel form, there’s a good chance it’d resemble Charlie. He’s naïve and precocious and childish and odd and enlightening and invisible and seen and I could have tried pot brownies and would have had no idea I was stoned unless someone told me and I would have wanted a milkshake and I can’t dance but I can do the sway and I could have witnessed a rape and had no idea what had happened because I was in middle school a kid. I could have confided to my teache...more
Emily
"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite." That has to be one of the most over used quotes and I admit that I used to roll my eyes whenever I saw it plastered over some obscure picture on Tumblr. Reading that part of the book, however... I felt it. It didn't seem entirely corny any more, and even if it did, it was the good kind of corny. The this-suits-this-situation-perfectly type of corny.

I love how strong the narrator's voice is, speaking directly to the dark, quiet spaces the readers m...more
Lucy
When I began reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower I felt it was immediately evident there was something wrong with Charlie, aside from his complacence. Charlie is supposedly brighter than average and excels in English. Reading his letters, however, made me feel he was actually slow. Charlie's English teacher tells him he's the smartest person he's ever known -- not just a student, but as a person. I didn't buy it for a second. The letters Charlie write are filled with the most simple language...more
Simona Bartolotta
"Avrei voluto alzare le spalle davanti alla stranezza di tutti... soprattutto alla mia."

Ciao Charlie,
sai, hai ragione tu. Riguardo alla stranezza delle persone, intendo. Ma anche riguardo a tutte le altre cose. Al modo in cui ci si sente tristi e curiosi guardando la gente, ai genitori che nelle foto sembrano sempre felici e ai figli che guardandoli pensano «anche io voglio essere felice così», all'ultimo libro che abbiamo letto che è sempre il nostro preferito. Alla bellezza del momento in cui...more
K
May 09, 2008 K rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are not overly cynical about things
Shelves: teens, humorlightness
Chbosky makes no secret that his book's riffing off of Catcher in the Rye, but for once this is sweet rather than obnoxious, at least I thought. A happier, more hopeful, and more sociable version of Catcher, if here can be such a thing, and much more obviously funny. Charlie's stilted, innocent voice reminded me more of narrator Haddon's Curious incident of the Dog in the Night-time than Holden Caulfield. Laughed a lot.

My favorite quotes:

"[My sister] is a part of the Earth Day Club here in hig...more
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The Letters 41 1680 3 hours, 20 min ago  
To whom was charlie sending letters to? 17 673 3 hours, 39 min ago  
Around the World ...: Discussion for The Perks of Being a Wallflower 12 48 Jul 19, 2014 01:58PM  
Books,books&B...: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower 4 7 Jul 12, 2014 07:36PM  
main conclusion or the main point of the story? 2 50 Jul 11, 2014 08:48AM  
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Stephen Chbosky grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Southern California's Filmic Writing Program. His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win Best Narrative Feature honors at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.

He is the recipient of the Abraham Polonsky Screenwriting Award for his screenplay...more
More about Stephen Chbosky...
Pieces: A Collection of New Voices the perks of being a wall flower

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“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 40074 likes
“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.” 13788 likes
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