Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” as Want to Read:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,583,585 ratings  ·  76,241 reviews
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.

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 inti
Paperback, 1st MTV/Pocket Books trade paperback edition (US/CAN), 213 pages
Published February 1999 by MTV Books/Pocket Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Perks of Being a Wallflower, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Kyle Kerr I live in Boston and was lucky enough to get to go to an Advance Screening of the PERKS movie when it first came out, and Stephen attended. During the…moreI live in Boston and was lucky enough to get to go to an Advance Screening of the PERKS movie when it first came out, and Stephen attended. During the Q&A I actually asked him about this, and he essentially responded that he DID intend for it to be a person in Charlie's world somewhere, but that what his readers turned it into (the debate on who it is, such as the readers themselves, or any of their other theories) were better than the person who he actually intended it to be. So he wouldn't say who it was, just that it WAS a person, but we'd turned it into something better than he intended.(less)
Paula!♥ I don't like thinking of age limits when talking about books because I think everyone is free to read what she/he wants regardless her/his age.
I thin…more
I don't like thinking of age limits when talking about books because I think everyone is free to read what she/he wants regardless her/his age.
I think it's perfectly fine if an adult reads YA books and vice versa.
But sometimes, I recognize there's an obvious age limit.
I read The perks of being a wallflower and I really liked it!
It was a really good book and I make no apology for having read this book cause it was amazing!
However, I'm fifteen and sometimes when I was reading this book I felt like I should read this book within a few years.
I don't think it was because of my age, but because of my personality.
So, if you want to read this book, you should know that it includes some unqualified adult content like sex, drugs,alcohol...
Hope this helped!
And if you decide to read the book, enjoy it :)
Paula xx(less)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Best Books Ever
93,649 books — 230,174 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Giver by Lois Lowry
Best Young Adult Books
12,238 books — 82,683 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,583,585 ratings  ·  76,241 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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 people who like this book, and who have found in it something of value. You are as entitled to your own opinion, subjective readingexper
Dec 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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:


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 Ch
Aria ・❥・Biblioaria ˚ · .
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.
Emily May
Sep 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: why-the-hype, 2011, ya
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
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
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK ALWAYS BRINGS ME SO MANY FEELS. 3rd time re-reading it and I still feel infinite.
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Emma Giordano
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't even think I can truly convey how much I loved this book other than to say it was entirely life changing and I'm so upset it took me this long to read it. ...more
Miranda Reads
Sep 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook
All I have to say to the author is...REALLY? Are you effing kidding me right now??

Charlie is a freshman, a loner and an odd duck, all wrapped up in one stunningly awkward package.

How awkward? Cripplingly so.
I am very interested and fascinated how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.
He's always been a bit....out there...but his family knows how to handle his moods and step around his antics.
So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and s
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I originally rated this two stars? Now I give it 5 stars?
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 (
Lisa of Troy
Mar 30, 2022 rated it liked it
Hi All My Introverted Friends!!!!

Charlie is a freshman in high school where he meets Sam and Patrick. With the help of Sam, Patrick, and his trusty English lit teacher, Charlie tries to navigate the awkward teenage years.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower is told in a collection of letters with Charlie writing to Dear Friend, someone that he has never met before but heard was a really great listener.

The listening part really got to me because I have realized that most people don’t really listen. W
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
nothing makes me feel more nostalgic than this book.

this book is long summer nights, spent with those we so carefully let in, not caring about what the next year of school would bring. just those evenings where our only companions were the stars. because in those moments, i swear we were infinite.

thats what this book is. those moments that truly define who we are and what happiness to means to us. this book is our teenage years filled with friendship, and angst, and heartbreak, and future plan
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Nov 08, 2022 rated it really liked it
I can't believe I managed to live my whole without hearing one spoiler!

I ended up really enjoying this (also watch the movie right after!).
This is the perfect "coming of age book to read in high school".

Ahmad Sharabiani
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Charlie, the 15-year-old protagonist, begins writing letters about his own life to an unknown recipient addressed, "dear friend." In these letters he discusses his first year at high school and his struggles with two traumatic experiences: the suicide of his only middle-school friend, Michael Dobson, and the death of his favorite aunt, Helen.

His caring English teacher, who encourages Charlie to call him Bill, notices Charlie's passion for reading a
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
*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
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
The book be like - CRY, BITCH.

After 50 pages I would have written that The Perks of Being a Wallflower was poorly written, boring and tasteless.

After 100 pages I would have clapped because really, wow, Stephen Chbosky really did want to tick all the strong issues boxes, haha. /sarcasm.

After 150 pages I would have needed a drink to handle all that fucking CRYING and talking and the total LACK of any attempt to actually DEAL with the issues piling up. No, three pages of so-called teenage philosop
Oct 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower ~~ Stephen Chbosky


Passivity vs. Passion …

Yes Charlie ~~ I know all too well what it’s like.

Charlie is an outsider ~~ a typical wallflower. He gets bullied at school and prefers taking the forty minute walk home instead of the school bus. Written in the form of letters from Charlie to an anonymous recipient, it is a compelling read. Don't let its simplicity fool you, as this book has much depth. Readers learn tha
Jun 01, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.

Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So, why does no one really mention that Charlie seems to be a high functioning autistic? I mean, there's a difference between shy or wallflower, and autistic. The way he doesn't understand social norms, his thought process, his actions (and inactions in certain situations), even the awkward ways he expresses his feelings. They all point to someone who sees the world differently than the rest of us.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm totally misreading what Chbosky was trying to portray. Or maybe Chbos
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Dr. Appu Sasidharan
Aug 31, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medicine
Stephen Chbosky tells us the story of an introvert, Charlie, through this novel.

Charlie might be awkward at social events but is a brilliant innocent person with excellent thinking capacity.

Nobody can blame you if you feel deja vu when you read his letters. It is that much relatable to our lives. The author beautifully depicts how he explores everything in his life for the first time through the friendship of Patrick and Sam. The author realistically portrays the difficulties and curiosit
Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Here is my Flashback Saturday book choice: I have to tell you the truth my friends: I’m not rereading this book. I always have second thoughts about ultra popular YA novels ( I haven’t forgotten my worst experience with Fault in our stars. Yes, I’m one of the haters of the book and double haters of the movie!)

So as a precaution I preferred to watch its movie when it was released a few years ago( safe choice and I didn’t need to worry about the adaptation part because the author was also screenwr
Reading_ Tamishly
***this book hurt me the worst when it ended because of the realisation about Charlie and because it ended.

"I gave Sam To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Hamlet, Walden, and The Fountainhead."

If I were Sam, I would have fallen in love with you, Charlie, right there!

I don't think this will ever happen in my life having someone giving me all their favourite books on a special day (while there's no doubt about me gifting all my favourite books even to my enemies anyday
K.D. Absolutely
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own-read, own
I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won't tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn't change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have.

Damn, this book was amazing. And it's not one of those books where you figure out how amazing it is at the beginning, or even through the first half. It slowly creeps up on you. Or at least is slowly crept
I want to be mad that I never read this before. But there's something indescribable and magical about experiencing a book for the first time. I can only be grateful that I finally got to read it.

Perks follows the story of Charlie, who is the most lovable character I have read since Dante from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe- which coincidentally, is one of my favourite books.

He has the best teacher ever since Miss Honey. Bill notices something special in Charlie.

Jo (The Book Geek)
One of the most important things that I appreciate and love about books, is that they remind me that I still have a heart, and my heart is a rather fragile thing, especially when I chose to read "The perks of being a Wallflower" I'll admit, I was slightly apprehensive about reading this, as I'd seen the film a long while ago, and I thought it was pretty average. The book, however, was not.

I love the word "Wallflower" There is just something about it that I like, apart from the fact that I used t
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Looking for Alaska
  • Paper Towns
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • All the Bright Places
  • Eleanor & Park
  • They Both Die at the End
  • We Were Liars
  • Thirteen Reasons Why
  • Call Me By Your Name (Call Me By Your Name, #1)
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1)
  • The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Turtles All the Way Down
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper, #1)
  • The Outsiders
  • The Song of Achilles
  • Normal People
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Articles featuring this book

Hollywood has a long (if uneven) tradition of raiding the Young Adult pantry for stories and series to adapt for the screen. Some books wind up...
64 likes · 10 comments
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 72179 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.” 22383 likes
More quotes…