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The Perks of Being a Wallflower
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Monthly Reads > The Perks of Being a Wallflower - A Book

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message 1: by Zeljka (last edited Dec 01, 2012 04:04AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zeljka (ZTook) | 1998 comments Mod
When I am not into long introductions, essentially when unwilling to spoil anyone's reading (including myself), I like to quote somebody or something, usually infallible neutral wikipedia. It is easier, quicker and simpler :)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age epistolary novel written by American novelist Stephen Chbosky. It was published on February 1, 1999 by MTV. The story is narrated by a teenager who goes by the alias of "Charlie"; he describes various scenes in his life by writing a series of letters to an anonymous person, whom he does not know personally. The story explores topics such as introversion, abuse, drugs, sexuality, and the awkward times of adolescence. The story takes place in a suburb of Pittsburgh during the early 1990s, Charlie's freshman year in a high school. Charlie is the eponymous wallflower of the novel. He is an unconventional thinker, and as the story begins he is shy and unpopular. (wikipedia).

I believe this treat would be very easy to read - is it entertaining and meaningful in any way, we are yet to see -- from your comments :) Here you may add your favourite quotes from the book, express your delight or disappointment, whatever you think of the book! The movie itself would be better to analyze in the movie thread, you know, for those who are yet to see it after reading the book.


Melissa Frye (MissyFrye) When I read this book, it consumed me instead of the other way around. I didn't want to put it down and it has stuck with me. The characters, the story, all of it.


message 3: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah (sarah_endipity) | 40 comments Is this appropreate for a young teen to read?


Melissa Frye (MissyFrye) Blueturtles wrote: "Is this appropreate for a young teen to read?"

In my opinion, absolutely not. If the teen is still suggestible to peers or hasn't really established his/her moral compass it could be a bad influence.

It deals with some very heavy issues - emotional instability at its core. It could be a tremendous help to some. It walks a fine line though.


message 5: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah (sarah_endipity) | 40 comments Missy wrote: "Blueturtles wrote: "Is this appropreate for a young teen to read?"

In my opinion, absolutely not. If the teen is still suggestible to peers or hasn't really established his/her moral compass it co..."


but i am homeschooled...


Melissa Frye (MissyFrye) I suggest having your teacher/parent read or research it first.


message 7: by Casseroll (last edited Dec 01, 2012 11:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Casseroll It is appropriate. Just cause it addresses those kind of topics doesnt mean it shouldnt be read. If you want to read it then read it. You'll know if it was worth it or not. Nobody's morals are set in stone.


message 8: by Casseroll (last edited Dec 01, 2012 12:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Casseroll I read it. Felt infinite...then went back to reading other books. I listened to his life and got mad for him; felt awkward when he felt awkward, etc. Most good books do that to you. Made what he went through even more relevant with what's gone on in the news.


Zeljka (ZTook) | 1998 comments Mod
Blueturtles wrote: "Is this appropreate for a young teen to read?"

I haven't read it yet, so do not know -- I agree with Missy, it would be good to ask your parents or even better, older siblings if you have them. But when I was kid, I've read a bunch of books that were shocking, like Christiane F, and that one was obligate read in our primary school. It's important only when you read something, do not take everything said and done for granted, especially be aware when something is wrong it always will be, never mind how that turned out for some character in some book. Real life cannot be rewritten to sound better as the stories in the books can.


Melissa Frye (MissyFrye) Kassandra wrote: "It is appropriate. Just cause it addresses those kind of topics doesnt mean it shouldnt be read. If you want to read it then read it. You'll know if it was worth it or not. Nobody's morals are se..."

I agree that these topics should be addressed and I'm not suggesting otherwise. I just think younger teens might be overly influenced by it. I wouldn't want my 13 year old nephew to read it, but will certainly hand it to him when he turns 17, if he shows interest.


Claire Dobson A brilliant read which does explore some heavy emotional issues. The story is told through a series of letters. The main character, Charlie has a very sensitive character, and is quite melancholy. He is able to find joy in small things like a record of The Smiths. The thing I adored most in this book was the song Asleep by The Smiths which describes Charlie in a beautiful way. One of my favourite reads this year!


message 12: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah (sarah_endipity) | 40 comments Missy wrote: "Kassandra wrote: "It is appropriate. Just cause it addresses those kind of topics doesnt mean it shouldnt be read. If you want to read it then read it. You'll know if it was worth it or not. Nobo..."

I am 13.So maybe I can wait 2-3 years.I'm going to read it for sure though.I think it might be a little too much for me. THANKS!


Melissa Frye (MissyFrye) I am 13.So maybe I can wait 2-3 years.I'm going to read it for sure though.I think it might be a little too much for me. THANKS!

I think that shows a great deal of maturity and self-awareness on your part. :-)


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Amazing, just amazing.


Sabrina I loved this book! It is a bit on the mature side, but it has a great message and I love that it's getting a second glance since the movie has come into the picture.


Margaret Perry (MargaretPerry) | 5 comments Sounds a lot like Adrian Mole and "The Inbetweeners." I look forward to reading it as soon as i can get my hands on a copy!


message 17: by Marci (last edited Dec 08, 2012 06:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marci Mac (MarciMac) | 7 comments I went the majority of the book falling in love with Charlie as the letter writer because of how honest he is. It made me able to relate to him, even though much of what he talked about is something I can't personally relate to.

I personally love first-person accounts when done correctly. The consistency of his character and the steady but slow growth that we see in it throughout the book is what makes him seem real. His flaws make us love him more.

At only one point of the book, about 75% of the way through, I found myself annoyed at the character. I wanted him to stop crying. A few pages later, "the truth" comes out. I immediately thought, "This is why he's so weird."

But then he says this, and like he claimed he might never forget, for the semester, what Bill told him about love, I will never forget this:

"I'm not the way I am because of what I dreamt and remembered about my aunt Helen...we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there."

His ability to understand situations in their best light is both moving and important. Though he is fictional, I learned so much from him.


Janinie Beanie (BookishSoul) | 2 comments I bought this book awhile back as a required text for a college English class. I dropped the class and never got around to reading it until last week. I started reading, unsure of whether or not I was going to like it. I ended up reading it in less than a week which use to be unheard for me. I enjoyed it because it was relatable. It was easy for me to put myself in Charlie' s shoes and feel what he felt. It was almost like reliving my high school days. The only thing I didn't like was that Charlie was in honors English and his writing was like that of a 7 year old.I noticed that it did improve towards the end though.


Margaret Perry (MargaretPerry) | 5 comments I don't think he talks like he's seven. I actually think that form of writing is fairly accurate to his age group. It made me wonder if the auther had experience working with high school writers. I love the simplicity and purity of thought that the main character has when addressing some pretty heavy teen issues. I'm about halfway through right now, and I'm loving it!
http://litandalatte.wordpress.com/


Melissa Frye (MissyFrye) I agree with Margaret. Charlie mentions that he's trying to improve is writing because Bill told him he ran sentences together.

His writing is much like speaking. That's why it flows so well. At least that's what I think.


Silver Neenie wrote: "I bought this book awhile back as a required text for a college English class. I dropped the class and never got around to reading it until last week. I started reading, unsure of whether or not I ..."

I agree with you about Charlie's writing. It is one of the things which bugs me about reading this story that the writing of it I find quite annoying at times and I had the same thought, while I tried to take into account his age, at the other hand I also thought, he is supposed to be in an advanced English Class but his writing is so immature.


Donnell | 4 comments The writing is one of the few things I actually liked about this book, especially if he is suppose to be a 15 year old writing to a friend. What I had a real hard time with is the amount of problems this kid had to handle in 213 pages. A suicide, drug use,abortion, sexuality... and that is just in the first half of the book. By the end, I was thinking what else is Chbosky going to try to squeeze in, and sure enough...there was more. Through it all the poor kid was sobbing and he barely had time to recover before there was the next thing to cry over. Don't get me wrong, most of it was worthy of tears, but by the end I just wanted to hurry and finish the book before anything else traumatic could happen. No wonder this kid needed a psychiatrist, I was depressed just reading the book! Even him being insightful wasn't enough to save my opinion. A bit disappointed (along with depressed)- however I did like the nostalgic references to the 80's music, Rocky Horror scenes, and mixed tapes.

Blueturtles wrote: "Is this appropriate for a young teen to read?"

In the book the characters friend/Advanced English teacher recommended some books to read such as- To Kill A Mockingbird, Peter Pan,The Great Gatsby,The Catcher In The Rye. I think those would be better choices. I am not just saying that as a homeschooling mom of a 13 year old (your not my son are you?), but I don't think "Bill" (the advanced Freshmen English teacher) would have put The Perks of Being a Wallflower on his list either. Good idea to wait a few years...or decades.


message 23: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah (sarah_endipity) | 40 comments Donnell wrote: "The writing is one of the few things I actually liked about this book, especially if he is suppose to be a 15 year old writing to a friend. What I had a real hard time with is the amount of proble..."

Thanks for giving me a strait answer. I'm glad I can count on my goodreads friends!


Silver I have been quite bothered every time Charlie mentions the TV show which he refers to as More inA inSo iHave
because for one thing it made absolutely no sense, and than I figured out that it stands of M*A*S*H but I am baffled by the reason why he does obscure the title of the show in such a way.

When he names book he reads or movies, and music, he does not do this, so why is it whenever he mentions this one show does he try and conceal the name of it?


Melissa Frye (MissyFrye) Silver wrote: "I have been quite bothered every time Charlie mentions the TV show which he refers to as More inA inSo iHave
because for one thing it made absolutely no sense, and than I figured out that it stand..."


I don't recall it being obscured. I guess I'll need to pay closer attention next time I read it.


Silver Missy wrote: "Silver wrote: "I have been quite bothered every time Charlie mentions the TV show which he refers to as More inA inSo iHave
because for one thing it made absolutely no sense, and than I figured ou..."


At first I just thought it was some sort of typo or mistake in my edition as I am reading a digital copy, but I googled it and noticed a couple of other people commented on the same thing, but apparently one person said that it was just some sort of formatting glitch.


Melissa Frye (MissyFrye) Ah...I read the paperback. Makes sense.


Oksana (Oksana_B) Surprisingly for me, I liked the book, but it took me a lot of thinking to get into it. There are many things to turn you off the book, like the constant crying of seemingly every character or Charlie's extreme vulnerability and the way everyone treat him, or how many issues and problems he had to face, including domestic violence, teenage pregnancy and abortion, child molestation, and drug usage. Seems like a lot to take in for one person. But I don't know, something in Charlie's character made me like him, either his sensibility or the way he accepts the world as it is. He is actually a very nice boy and I found myself wishing that everything would turn out good for him. It's great that he started "participating" in the end and tried to make new friends aside from Sam and Patrick.
I haven't had the chance to see the movie yet, but I definitely will. I'm really interested how it would convey the book's idea and general atmosphere, and the cast does look nice.


message 29: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah (sarah_endipity) | 40 comments ☻/
/▌
/ \
This is bob...
Copy and paste him every where you can.
Soon he will take over the world O.o


message 30: by Zeljka (last edited Dec 22, 2012 05:52AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zeljka (ZTook) | 1998 comments Mod
Started reading it! First part done -- at times sad, but mostly amusing, and perspicacious. Although, as Missy said, not for youngsters, I have feeling it is rather aimed at us all who have already gone through that phase of life.


Silver Zeljka wrote: "Started reading it! First part done -- at times sad, but mostly amusing, and perspicacious. Although, as Missy said, not for youngsters, I have feeling it is rather aimed at us all who have already..."

I am curious about those who think that this book is not appropriate for younger audiences. The issues addressed within the book reflect experiences and feelings of which many teenagers have in their own life.

So why shouldn't the books they read be relatable to them by frankly and honestly dealing with feelings, thoughts and experiences of which they themselves have actually had in their own life?

When I was in high school, I did not even read YA (as it was not the popular thing it is today) most the books I read were just regular "adult" books.


Zeljka (ZTook) | 1998 comments Mod
Silver wrote: "I am curious about those who think that this book is not appropriate for younger audiences. The issues addressed within the book reflect experiences and feelings of which many teenagers have in their own life..."

Well, I meant youngsters as those aged below 15 (on average), because some might not understand some "insider jokes", and might get some wrong idea. If they are willing to read it anyway, well, you can't really stop them, nor is really necessary (book isn't really that provocative, same goes with TV shows), but would be nice to tell them that they can freely ask whatever questions they might have during reading. Teenagers as those in high school and young adults certainly may read it. That's my view from the first part though, don't take every word for granted :)


Silver Zeljka wrote: "Silver wrote: "I am curious about those who think that this book is not appropriate for younger audiences. The issues addressed within the book reflect experiences and feelings of which many teenag..."

Ok, I can understand how it might be a bit over the head of those under the age of 15 ( and middle school aged)but I do think it is quite appropriate for High school students to read.


Zeljka (ZTook) | 1998 comments Mod
Btw, I noticed same thing as you Silver did, Charlie tends often to make up words for initials. As with MASH he did same with F.S. Fitzgerald and J.M. Barrie. Little bit odd. Maybe an insider joke I am not familiar with ;)


Zeljka (ZTook) | 1998 comments Mod
I've read the book few days ago, and quite quickly too. It was an easy and interesting read as predicted, but I had feeling it handled some very heavy subjects too lightly. Also, I couldn't really understand Charlie, as much as his friends couldn't. By his actions he really seemed so oversensitive, but his writing didn't really show it. He was capable of writing down any situation and other people's reactions to his oftentimes puzzling actions, but not so well his emotions and reasoning behind these actions, which tended at times to really irritate me. Especially as it seemed everybody was telling him he's super brilliant, while I would keep thinking - now I am harsh, don't take it to heart, please - he has some brain damage (view spoiler).

I didn't feel any bit enlightened by this book - seemed more like a series of saucy high school relationships (of which I never really cared to listen and read about even when I was high school girl myself) and issues (mentioned there just to be told, without any real lasting impact), with a bit of wisdom here and there. But -- it was okay, interesting read, I just do not think big deal of it.

I liked these two quotes very much:

Not everyone has a sob story, Charlie, and even if they do, it's no excuse.

It's a great book. But try to be a filter, not a sponge. (actually, that last bit of advice is applicable in every sense in every situation!)


Alana (alanasbooks) | 716 comments Mod
Ok, haven't read the comments above to avoid spoilers, but started this and these are my thoughts so far: I'm a ways into it and frankly, I don't see why it's so popular. It's just another cookie-cutter coming-of-age story, unless something extraordinary is going to happen later. Maybe I'm just burnt out on these, I don't know, but so far I'm not all that impressed.


message 37: by Kali (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kali Srikanth | 8 comments I feel, best part of the book is its ending.


Joseph I could not disagree more. I found this book to much more enjoyable than Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace. I enjoyed the style and voice of the narrator. I started reading this book because some students were reading it, and have enjoyed it.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 716 comments Mod
Ok, finished it today. I don't feel any different about it than I did a few days ago. Yes, I'm going to be brutally honest from my perspective, and I know a lot of you liked it, so I'm not saying anything about your opinions, you obviously found it more relate-able than I did. It just felt another in a long, LONG list of "coming of age" stories that are trying to "out-shock" each other in how brutal life can be for their poor protagonists. Seriously, HOW many things can happen to one kid? I had a friend commit suicide and it was enough to slow me down HARD for a good year or so! So you've got teen pregnancy, abortion, suicide, way too many coping mechanisms with drinking and pot, etc (although that I can kind of ignore because I understand why people turn to those things, even if I never have myself), childhood abuse, the token bullied gay kid, etc. PLEASE do not think I'm saying that any of these issues aren't deadly serious and important! Of course they are and should be treated as such. But the amount of things to happen to one person? Not to mention, of course, that for the most part he seemed totally normal to me, but the author couldn't think of an ending so he had to take the fallback of (view spoiler) Again, a VERY serious issue and can cause all kinds of turmoil within any person, let alone a child. It just seemed like such a cop-out, like he couldn't think of any better way to end it. Not like the kid could be perfectly normal with all of his thoughts, which ANY kid that age would have, but no, he has to be (view spoiler). What kind of a message is that supposed to send kids? You can't have these kinds of emotions unless something bad has happened to you?

Sorry if that sounds like a rant; I guess it is. I think I've just read too many of these kinds of books lately so none of them are very original. I'm also not that age anymore so maybe I'm just too old to relate.

Also, I agree that I would not let my 13-year-old read this book. I might, if some of these issues were coming up or potentially coming up (unlike Sam and Patrick's parents, who apparently have no problem whatsoever with everything their kids are getting into?) read through it WITH my child and have a discussion. I think that would be very worthwhile. But just to let them handle these topics alone? Never.

Sorry if I sound like an angry old woman, lol, that's not my intention. I just didn't find the book original or believable at all.


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