Book Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Dear friend,

Generally, I’m not a big fan of coming-of-age or teenage novels; they usually tend to be repetitive and uninspired. However, The Perks of Being a Wallflower was definitely something else. I’ve never read anything like it and I rarely get hooked up so easily by a book and seem to finish it in less than a week. Sure, the book isn’t long or tedious, and the simply yet intricate writing style definitely made this book an easy read, however; I cannot deny that I wasn’t attracted to Charlie’s beautiful story. Once I got through the first chapter of the book, I couldn’t put it down.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is told in a series of letters that were addressed from Charlie to an anonymous reader (presumably, you). Charlie begins his freshman year of high school very confused. He is friendless, a result of his only friend Michael, committing suicide only the year before. Most people think of him as weird because of his easy ability to cry and the fact that he’s so quiet. When he meets two seniors named Sam and Patrick, everything changes. Sam, Patrick, and their other friends begin to integrate him into the real world by exposing him to sex, drugs, rock and role, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Charlie begins to learn about friendship, sexuality, while learning how to understand his complicated family. By the end of the book, we begin to learn that Charlie’s freshman year is one of the most effective years of his life.

I cannot deny that I really loved Charlie’s character; he is so honest, real, blunt, and likable. From the start it seems that Charlie has a unique way of thinking and acting, and you may spend a lot of time trying to work out what’s “wrong” with him. After a while I realized that I relate to Charlie a lot more than I thought, and that we all probably relate to Charlie in some way or another. Thankfully, the book is wonderfully written and the language it conveys is very real and authentic. Stephen Chbosky commanded Charlie’s blunt character perfectly, with referencing enough pop culture elements such as books, movies, and songs that relate to the storyline in so many levels. Unfortunately, there are some scattered cheesy bits that might turn off some readers, and to be honest; I wasn’t completely shocked by the revelation at the end. Regardless however, the book cleverly manages to pull off some very nice and sometimes quite funny writing about family, friendship, and figuring oneself out. This book is a definite pick-up for younger readers and teenagers but I also invite the adult readers to invest their times in this novel. You will certainly love it as much I did, and maybe more.

Love always,


36 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dennis Wilson on June 28, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I’m glad you liked it as much as I did. Your font seems to be a little bit to small for my comfort but it might be my computer


  2. Not my typical book, but I will look into it..


  3. You reminded me of a similar book I just finished reading, called “Letters To A Young Poet” by Rilke. I think you would like it. : )


  4. Posted by Emily on August 31, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I love this book because it clearly shows the high school lifestyle of a freshman and how it is possible to break into different groups no matter if they are younger or older then you! I am a freshman this year and felt that I could relate very well to the book by my emotions and charlie made me feel like I have witnessed some of the things and experiences he has mentioned already!


  5. Posted by Alex Macale on October 8, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    I don’t read that many books, but I found that this book is very similar to Catcher in the Rye. And while there is a time difference of 40 years between Catcher and Wallflower, I still very much enjoyed Catcher. Still, the perks of being a wallflower will always be one of my favorite (if not my most favorite) books.


  6. Posted by kaci on October 19, 2008 at 9:10 am

    I’m halfway through Wallflower and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. I picked it up because it was listed as a “banned” book in many areas and I teach high school students who rarely read unless a book is controversial. I have several students in mind that I will recommend the book to once I’ve finished. It has subtle reflections of another diary-style coming of age novel – Rats Saw God… excellent young adult lit


  7. Posted by edshg on January 18, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    hey dies any on know any songs that relate to perks of being a wall flower


    • Posted by Melanie on May 22, 2009 at 10:31 am

      I would think that the best songs that relate to it would be the songs off that Autumn mix tape that Charlie got from his sister. Those song are all quite good.


  8. Posted by Maira on January 19, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    This morning, in my college class, we were given a list of “challenged” books that are usually banned in many places. I googled some of them and they didn’t seem that interesting or worth the read, but then I came across this review for this book. So I got it. And read it. All within a few hours lol.

    I really enjoyed it. I wish high school teachers would require students to read something like this. The kids can relate it to it much more than something like the Great Gatsby [don’t get me wrong, that was a great book as well]. Kids don’t read as is, so they need a book they can relate to so they want to read on.

    Cheers (:


  9. This book is banggggiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnn


  10. Posted by ShaniceMarie on January 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    This book was truly amazing and moving. I really enjoyed it, I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in about two days, and it was two days well spent. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read.


  11. Posted by Kevin V on February 10, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    This book was simply an AMAZING piece of literature, I’m currently a senior and had to read a book for a project due. I love a book in which I can easily relate to, and this was that kind of book. This has to be by far my favorite book of all times, and I recommend all to read it. ^^


  12. Posted by Desiray on February 25, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    This book made me feel good inside.


  13. Posted by A Reader711 on March 25, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    I read this book and it is amazing beyond belief. I was hooked from the beginning. I’ve read it 3 times and every time i read it it’s still amazing. My favorite book of all time.


  14. […] I recently went into a Salvation Army and found a bunch of books that I had once owned copies of. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was one of them. I remember really loving that book. I think it would have liked my bookshelf. […]


  15. loved this book. it was fantastic: real, eccentric, blunt, corrupt, and completely honest in the ways of the world.


  16. Posted by Liz on July 23, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    I simply adored this book.


  17. Posted by Gabby on August 10, 2009 at 3:00 am

    This book is simply amazing. Charlie’s mind works differently from your average teen but ppl can still relate to him in certain ways. This book is one of my favorites.



  18. Posted by the ice cream man on September 13, 2009 at 9:51 am

    this book was so great because i could really relate to it as can many other students my age


  19. Posted by bagagaga on September 23, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Hello, may I ask something really out-of-the-blue? Is the statement “I cannot deny that I wasn’t attracted to Charlie’s beautiful story..” correct? Shouldn’t it be “I cannot deny that I WAS attracted to..” since the meaning you are trying to convey is that you WERE attracted?


  20. Posted by brittany callahan on October 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

    i never liked reading and i read this book and finished it. i never read and this book is such a great book.


  21. Posted by alice on November 5, 2010 at 10:09 am

    one of the best novels i’ve read and i don’t mean in terms of just YA fiction but fiction in general. the language is deceptively simple but affecting and heartfelt. Charlie has one of the best narrative voices in fiction i have come across. I have recommended the book to friends both in and out of the perceived demographic. to a man/woman/teen they all loved it. After reading the book, you just wish Charlie was a real life character. I don’t know how well this will translate to the big screen but Chbosky wrote the script and is directing the film with Logan Lerman and Emma Watson so fingers crossed it won’t disappoint


  22. […] don’t think I’ll ever find a book that I could love anymore than I love this one.  I recommend it to anyone who’s trying to find that one perfect fit, or that one book that they can relate […]


  23. Posted by sarah on December 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    i just finished this book and i loved it. it was the most honest “coming of age” story ive ever read and it didnt shy away from some of the feelings that other book of this genre glaze over. i recommended it to my school boards trustee, but after reading it was banned i dont know how far it will get in a catholic school board.


  24. Posted by Cindy on January 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I love this book with all my heart. It was amazing. I cried at the end. The first sentence Of the last chapter kills me.


  25. Posted by tyrell jackson on April 11, 2011 at 11:49 am

    man dis book was weeek as eva da kid cries like 50 times and if dis kid was real id beat his a$$


  26. Posted by sandy on May 19, 2011 at 12:33 am

    i just finished it… too bad my friends don’t read much.. this book is amazing. I FEEL INFINTE!


  27. I really liked this book and I enjoyed your review. I’m looking forward to the movie adaptation (due in 2012) – particularly as it’s being directed by the book’s author, Stephen Chbosky.


  28. Posted by Denice on June 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

    do you think aunt helen killed herself as a birthday gift to charlie?


    • Posted by iloveyou on July 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      i dont think so because charlie and aunt helen were really close and dont get me wrong but charlie only connected with his aunt helen 🙂 so hopefully not 😀 and i cant believe aunt helen rapped charlie 😦 oh well


  29. Posted by Felice on June 29, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    wow. interesting question. do you think aunt helen killed herself as a birthday gift to charlie?

    i have to think about that one.


  30. Posted by iloveyou on July 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm



  31. Posted by iloveyou on July 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    THIS is honestly the greatest book i ever read next to my favourite author Eric Walters .


  32. omg this book was amazingg very descriptive but thats high school i really love it was funny and very relatable for teens cant wait for the movie hope its as amazing as the book i ❤ it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  33. […] (Photo Credit: Perks @ […]


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