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Group Read Discussions > The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10035 comments Mod
Hey everyone! Today kicks off the member-led discussion of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.

Kimberly is our discussion leader! Let's give her all a super warm welcome. And please remember to hide your spoilers...


✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 39 comments Hi does anyone know if its possible to hide spoilers on an iPhone ?


✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 39 comments Anyway, I'm about 1/5 through the book and am enjoying it. I think Charlie's sweet.

What's bizarre is my 2 nieces (late teen/early 20's) and my 16 year old stepdaughter have read it, so as I'm reading some particular parts, I know they've also read them.


message 4: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly | 21 comments Hi all! Thanks for choosing Perks of Being A Wallflower as the monthly read :)

I enjoyed this book so much, I finished it in about a day (I was on my summer vacation, so I had plenty of time). I love how Charlie is so pure and naive, and how friendly and understanding Patrick & Sam are. By the end of the novel, I wished I had friends that I could get 'odd' with.

Moving onto the 'easy' questions. In the book it was mentioned that Charlie was writing to a friend of his friend, have you ever had a friend who 'doesn't sleep with that person at that party even though they could have'? How rare do you think those kind of people are in nowadays society? What does it tell us about teenagers in common?


message 5: by Renee (new)

Renee | 66 comments I haven't read this one yet, I've been busy so I had to order it, it should get here today. I'm looking forward to it though!


✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 39 comments Im about 70% through. I agree Kimberley, Charlie is so pure and innocent and Sam and Patrick so understanding

So many topics are covered - I'm also wondering where this is all leading.....


message 7: by Alma Q (last edited Sep 07, 2013 10:52AM) (new)

Alma Q (staticatku) At first I thought this is a horrible book. I still think it was too poorly written (and translated) -even though that may have been the intention.

But now as I have read it and because I could to some extent forgive Charlie (for being too easy to identify with.... I like it when books offer me new thoughts, not the ones I have already gone through) it turned out to be 'pretty ok'. Disappointment, maybe, because I was really impressed by the movie. But maybe someone who hasn't already worded everything in their mind could see it as a worthy experience. (For now Chbosky's definition for 'wallflower' was the only part that really got me.)

I'd be interested to hear how you have experienced the book so far. Am I the only one who wasn't charmed by this overly childlike-styled letter-writer?


message 8: by Kate (new)

Kate | 10 comments I completely agree with you, Adelefin. I thought Charlie was TOO naive and childlike, often to the point of being annoying. I frequently rolled my eyes. I didn't feel the same way about Charlie when I watched the movie, though...I think the characters in the film are much more realistic and believable.

Also, some of the phrasing and comments didn't strike me as realistic. For example, in one part, he said something like, "I can get my driver's license soon. Wow!" I realize the book is set in the early 90s, but I still don't think it got the tone right. It would be like throwing in "Golly jeepers!" or something.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with your assessment of the book. I saw the movie before reading the book. I really liked the movie. I read the book shortly after the movie came out and I was disappointed like you. I thought the book offers some additional insights into the characters and more explanation of the events that take place in the movie. The movie does not follow the book exactly. yet it's essentially faithful to it. I think part of the problem with the book is that it is an epistolary novel told in the form of letters that Charlie writes to his friend.

Anyway, this is one of those rare cases where I thought the movie was better than the book. But the author also wrote the screenplay for the film.

I have posted a review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower on Goodreads. I don't think it contains any spoilers.


message 10: by Michele (last edited Sep 07, 2013 12:27PM) (new)

Michele (booksandlemonade) | 1 comments Hi! The lines "I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn't try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist." on the opening page of the novel really seemed to hit me. I feel like this is something that anyone can identify with, no matter what their age, gender, etc. It is not always advice that we seek when we confide in others, but the simple idea of knowing that someone cares enough to take the time to listen. While I do agree that their are some parts of the novel where Charlie is a bit too childish, I do think that there are quite a few points in the novel where the words that he says can really make a connection with the readers.


message 11: by Andreea (last edited Sep 07, 2013 12:27PM) (new)

Andreea Metalbrain (metalbrain) I loved reading The Perks of being a Wallflower. Charlie is a totally innocent, especially for his age. But he has something special. I mean, he even smokes pot and remains innocent. He fights, but no one bothers because he is innocent. And about all the actions, bad things, inappropriate for those kids happens, but it looks like they are not judged at all. Everything is described like is normal, even if is not. Everyone is thought to be good in his own way, and I think that is a nice and not really often met point of view.


message 12: by Niki (new)

Niki | 1 comments Hello everybody! This is the first time I'm posting :) I read The book The Perks of being a Wallflower. I really liked it! The characters were so endearing and i loved how the author had included all the tiny details and made the book so great! :)


message 13: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly | 21 comments Wow! Great to see that people are liking this book, even though some likes the movie better.

However, I think that one of the deepest part in the book is when (view spoiler)which isn't included in the movie. What do you guys think? Do you feel that that scene is significant for the book?


message 14: by Yuliya (new)

Yuliya (yuliyalovestoread) | 1685 comments I think it's significant (scene that described in post above by Kimberly) and was surprised to not see it in movie. I liked book and I liked movie also. The book was really great and I'm thankfull to one of this group member who send me recomendation to read this book. I did not know about movie at all and somehow just after reading the book I sow the same title on one of movie on lime site. I liked the cast of the movie.


message 15: by Yuliya (new)

Yuliya (yuliyalovestoread) | 1685 comments When I was reading this book it keep reminding me the same feeling and thinking that I has reading The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger. Somebody else have some connection between these two books?


message 16: by Kate (new)

Kate | 10 comments I really disliked Catcher in the Rye. I read it when I was 14, didn't connect with the story or narrator at all, and found Holden to be really annoying.

I know both of these books are considered quintessential young adult books that really capture what it's like to be a teenager. What does it say about our cultural idea of adolescence that both main characters have one thing in common: (view spoiler).


message 17: by Renee (new)

Renee | 66 comments I'm with Kate, I didn't like Catcher in the Rye much either...I think the character Holden was just too cynical for me. I'm about three quarters done with this one...I usually read much, much faster but things are crazy here right now, I'll probably finish it sometime today...I haven't seen the movie, but plan to when I'm done with the book. Charlie reminds me of myself as a teenager, he really does...I was shy, quiet, naive...I didn't have as many friends as he did, but I had that same hopeful quality of just wanting to make human connections so much.


message 18: by Scott (new)

Scott | 107 comments Kate...I second that emotion.


message 19: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Allan | 1 comments A number of people mentioned that they thought Charlie was too innocent and naive. I think that was deliberate, you need to keep in mind what he remembers at the end, this would have had a big impact on his development. I thought it was a good book but I probably did enjoy the movie more, which is unusual for me.


message 20: by Renee (new)

Renee | 66 comments Victoria, I agree...something like that would cause someone to sort of "stall" in their emotional development. It would also affect how they relate to people...hence Charlies huge need to be loved and accepted.


message 21: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliemdobson) I finished this book last night. I enjoyed it but I didn't love the book. Although if I were a teenager, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

I agree with some of the above posters that he was too naive. Yes there are some events in his past that have affected how he can relate to others and accept what has happening to him and to others, but I think certain characteristics of his were a little overdone to get the message to the reader.


message 22: by Tina (new)

Tina | 143 comments I can't help but think Charlie lies somewhere on the autism spectrum ... that is the feeling I had reading his letters. I related this story more to "Flowers for Algernon" or "The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time."


message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliemdobson) The narrative does have some similarities to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. But, I never felt Charlie lies on the autism spectrum.

(view spoiler)


message 24: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (_afkbookworm_) I'm going to start the book as soon as I finish the ones I'm reading now, I've heard a few of my friends talk about it, how good is it?


message 25: by Renee (new)

Renee | 66 comments Jessica, I liked it a lot...I think what Tina said about Charlie possibly having autism was an interesting idea...I don't know, when I read I tend to go with what the author is saying, I don't worry a lot about realism, I guess...if I did I would never have read the Harry Potter series!


message 26: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (_afkbookworm_) Renee wrote: "Jessica, I liked it a lot...I think what Tina said about Charlie possibly having autism was an interesting idea...I don't know, when I read I tend to go with what the author is saying, I don't worr..."

Thanks, I've been thinking of reading it for a while.


message 27: by Emily (new)

Emily (emilydtruscott) I just finished reading this book for the first time, and I haven't seen the movie version. Am honestly trying to decide if I liked it or not. Mixed feelings.

Regarding Charlie's maturity, I think he seems so immature mostly because he really isn't that interested in "adult" things (view spoiler) It literally requires effort for him to engage in things that most teenagers are excited about. But I wonder too if Charlie gives voice to what a lot of young people think and feel without ever saying out loud, like the desire for love and acceptance of who they are. Maybe it isn't so much that Charlie is immature, but that most teens are trying to act more mature than they really are?


message 28: by Renee (new)

Renee | 66 comments Emily, I think I felt that way as a teen...that's why I identified with Charlie so much...a lot of the stuff the other kids were into just really baffled me, I always felt like an outsider for not being as fascinated as my friends were by a lot of things. Sorry, I can't seem to say this quite the way I want to.


message 29: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliemdobson) Emily, you make an interesting point there and I think in some cases you're probably right. Some of Charlie's actions later in the book seem more because of peer pressure and need for acceptance than anything else. And for many teenagers, it is (or at least they feel like it) essential to survive in high school.


message 30: by Marla (new)

 Marla | 158 comments Tina wrote: "I can't help but think Charlie lies somewhere on the autism spectrum ... that is the feeling I had reading his letters. I related this story more to "Flowers for Algernon" or "The Curious Incident ..."

I would like Charlie much more if he were autistic and I did get that same feeling.

It just wasn't my type of book. I was not a rebellious teen (a hundred or so years ago) and I've always resented it when it is assumed that all teens are wild, sleeping around and doing drugs. I felt like the book was both trying to shock me and portray Charlie and his friends as the teenage norm. I don't think there is a teenage norm. But I can see the book's appeal if you are a teen and can relate to Charlie.


message 31: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I was very disappointed, everyone I know has been talking about this book. I thought I was in for a great read, I guess I got all hyped up. If I hadn't been expecting something huge I probably would have loved it. I did like how honest Charlie was and that his friends were a lot like him and respectful.
I guess my main issue is that I felt like this was a lot like any other book involving molestation and abuse. Everyone suffers in a different way and I feel like every book is portrayed the same. The only nice difference is that he still chooses to love his aunt and forgive her. He doesn't place blame and talks about how your raised exposes you but doesn't make you who you are. That part was the most real interpretation I've ever read. Too many people blame parents now, even if the "child" is 40+.


message 32: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliemdobson) I understand with being disappointed with a book that was hyped up to be excellent.ive had that with a handful of books. This one I waited on, and I also don't get why everyone raves about it. A good book, yes. But very similar to others in its genre.


message 33: by Belinda (new)

Belinda Garcia (belindavasquezgarcia) | 4 comments I didn't like the parts about the aunt in the book. I don't want to give the story away so won't say anything else. I really liked the Patrick character.


message 34: by Mouse (new)

Mouse | 1 comments I'm a big fan of this novel as is most of the members of my family. My mother, after reading the book, brought forth an interesting theory about the identity of the person Charlie is writting to: she thinks he is writting to his aunt's therapist. It's an interesting theory and I'm almost willing to buy it.


message 35: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly | 21 comments I apologize for being absent for the past 10 days, it has been some hectic days.

Anyways, what did you guys think about the poem? (view spoiler)


✿ ♥  Heather ♥ ✿ (frangiegal) | 39 comments It was an easy read but took me ages because I put it aside twice for 2 other books.

It really did have the voice of a teenager, a quirky, complex, good natured, "innocent" teenager. Definitely felt like reading a diary. He definitely sounded like he was slightly on the autistic spectrum.

Goes to show how easily someone can get into alcohol or drugs at parties or just hanging out with friends. So many topics were covered. It's a shame that its frequently a banned book in schools - these topics could be used for discussions within classrooms or homes.

Worth reading. I'd like to see the movie now


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