Rachel's Reviews > The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
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Dec 04, 07

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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 could write them down later. Charlie has an honest innocence to him yet such an intense depth and intelligent mind that he is quite the multifaceted character.

While the story has its ups and downs, and really, there isn't a very intense plot, the reader is somehow sucked into Charlies head sharing his first kiss, his feelings toward his new friends, his feelings towards literature and music. He is naiive about so many things, and his bluntness made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. He not only deals with issues like love, but also having a gay friend, dealing with death, and sexual assault, but also sharing his love of music and literature, which I think are two things that are being lost on youth today.

I would give this book to every teenage boy and girl I knew. While Charlie isn't exactly a excellent role model, he does show that being different is O.K. and that friends come in all kinds of packages...to stay true to yourself. These things matter.
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Comments (showing 1-18)




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Spencer Christie In Ireland there hasn't been a lot of publicity of this book, but one of the people I follow on Twitter said how amazing it was and it got me interested. I can't wait to read it now after your review!


Michelle I'm reading this book right now, and I agree with you. However, being a member of the youth, I just want to point out that music is certainly not being lost in youth today. Everyone I know listens to music every single day, and if anything, I think it's getting more popular. On literature, I hope I comfort you in saying many kids still love it. I, for one, live for it. Sorry, that had nothing to do with the book.... I just don't like generalizations like that...


Rachel Michelle, I wrote this review when I was 22 years old. I am now 26, so I will say that my opinions have changed slightly and perhaps I would have worded myself a bit differently now.

I definitely agree that there are ALWAYS young people that are passionate about music and about reading. However I was speaking more of society as a whole. I work at a middle school and the staff literally have to force the kids to read for 15 minutes a day. We allow them to discover their own books and things that interest them, but many of them simply, to take from their wording, "despise" reading and find it "awful" and "boring."

As for music, just go to a public school and tally up people's favorite music. It's usually top 20 radio hits. That passion for music that Charlie had in the book is completely genuine and innocent that it's almost as if he is not aware of the "popular" kinds of music, but only the things that he hears that touch him in some way. Youth today as a whole is lost on the idea of discovering new music, connecting with music.

There are always exceptions to every rule. There will always be younger people that read, that are into music and culture etc. However one must make a generalization when a vast majority of youth in America today are not as you and your friends are. It's wonderful to hear that you're passionate about music and I hope that continues. :)


message 15: by Scott (new)

Scott MTV promotes the Jersey Shore as well. I loved this book when I read it in high school, I have a feeling that if I re-read it now I wouldn't like it as much. But I won't re-read it and I'll continue to think fondly of it.


message 14: by Ella (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ella Quing WAAA! I love this book! :D


message 13: by Noa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Noa Whitlow I love this book. Its my favorite book of all time. Sounds lame to say, but its true.

Sophomore in high school


Inês is this book some kind of the "Catcher in the rye" by JD Salinger? Because i love that book, and if i love that book i might like this one :)


ϟEvelynϟ I like your review, Rachel! I'm now looking forward in reading this book!


Rachel I first read this book when I was 19. Now 26, I'm reading it a second time. I loved it the first time and I'm excited to see the movie when it comes out. I doubt it will be as good as the book (in my opinion, they never are) but it'll be interesting to see it.


Lawn215 I read it about 10 years ago, and just finished re reading it today, still love it, if not more now as a 31year old. I too, have pages folded over for great quotes!


Ciarank Excellent Review


Carly About Charlie being love-able ... not really sure how that word is supposed to be spelled - maybe you've got it right. I'm inclined to go with 'lovable' ... dunno but that's not what I wanted to say. The thought you've put in my head about him and his love-ableness make me picture the guy who plays the part of Spider Man. I went to You Tube as soon as I finished listening to the last disk this morning, fully expecting to see that actor in Charlie's role.


Elijah Mobley YES! The beauty of this book lies in the characters. Charlie is one of the most CHALLENGING characters I've ever come across. He is such a brilliant person, yet so naive and strait forward about everything. He holds nothing back,and if he does, you immediately know why. He isn't a very great role model, but he does teach so much. You learn as he learns. You really get into his mind. He's so strange, but relatable. The symbolism of the novel is remarkable. The setting is perfectly fitting. Every character plays an important role. This book is just marvelous. I must say that it does take a certain mind to admire it. There is much tragedy, and the diction is very weird. But I love that! It's different! It's like i'm actually sitting and listening to someone talk; like Charlie was sitting in front of me and just spilling all. I loved this book.


message 5: by Jed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jed For me there was no promotion, I'd never heard of the book. But somehow on Kindle, by mistake, I started reading the first page..and right away though "Jaysus, this is not happening", then I read a whole bunch of pages..and think the writer is a genius.


message 4: by S. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S. Cameron I have an issue when people give a book a low rating because of the topic and not because of the actual story or writing style. More people should be open to writing and reading about issues that happen to people everyday. I think the author of this book did a fine job when it comes to creating an interesting story and maintaining a good writing style. I notice many of the low ratings from this book is based strictly on the topic and the issues is touches upon. I agree with you that people shun the book because of the topics proposed but they are missing out on enjoying a well told story and opening themselves to new feelings/emotions.


message 3: by Jed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jed S. wrote: "I have an issue when people give a book a low rating because of the topic and not because of the actual story or writing style. More people should be open to writing and reading about issues that h..."

Me..to..This book, technically, is way out of my league..and yet...it was the best book I've read in a while..
Same with "Three men on a bender" a b.s title..and I really thought it was B.S then I read it..and fell in love.
You just never know with books


Abbt Rachel,

I totally agree. This book was on my reading list for a long while. I was hesitant of reading it because I didn’t want to be disappointed. When I finally got the time, I was pleasantly surprised. The book was just as great as everyone was making it out to be. The relatability in it is really what drew me to keep reading.Charlie’s shy demeanor is really what I could relate too. I am also very shy at times, so it was cool to find a character I could relate too. I couldn’t put the book down. I agree that the writing could be better, but it was appealing enough to keep me reading and be one of my favorites.


message 1: by Jed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jed Do you consider "the perks" as a giulty pleasure.

I sort of do


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