Sara's Reviews > The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
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's review
Jul 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: ya-lit

This is the first book in a long time I’ve read cover to cover. It’s 12:15 am and all I can say is Wow. This is what good YA is. It was a journey and smart and quirky and really quiet at times. And because it’s 12 am I’m just jumping in…try to keep up, lol.

Ahh, the scene where all of Charlie’s friends sit around and stare after he gives his Christmas gifts, spot on. Seriously, it was like for the first time these people looked up and saw this Wallflower as a person. Someone who was watching so intently he was able to give the perfect gift to each friend. Charlie is someone so quiet they never really noticed him.

I loved the characters of Sam and Patrick. What perfect people. I never wanted their friendship to end. The innate understanding these two people had for Charlie was amazing. Through them Charlie began to enter the world. The world at large is place where Charlie had never fully “participated”. In the end by being Charlie’s friend they created a really great friend for themselves as well. It makes you want to look at every, ‘slightly off’ acquaintance in your midst and hold out a hand, lend an ear, give that attention that is like water and plant food for the Wallflower.

It isn’t until later in the book you see what an impact Bill, the teacher, is truly having on Charlie. Because the Charlie’s letters are stream of consciousness you know that Charlie must be kinda weird…but normal enough to function and do fairly well in school. It ends up being the barely sketched Bill who in the final section gives an adult viewpoint we can trust because of its sudden fullness of explanation.

And while Charlie’s own ending is slightly predictable I think that by the time you reach the climactic plot point you’ll have realized that it was never the point of the book. For all the issues held within its 200 odd pages (everything from date rape, to homosexuality, to drugs) Charlie’s journey is the whole point. If there were unique circumstances, not all good, that gave such a fresh take on the world, then I can only bless the broken road that this character travels. Because it was a journey that, strangely, gives you hope for having taken.

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