The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Reviewed by Melanie on March 28, 2017


I watched this movie years ago and had been waiting to find the book in hardcover. I know it’s an older book, but the lessons Charlie learns, and the things that he endures will resonate forever. Charlie is a freshman in high school. As for most teenagers, he’s not all that happy about it and the book is told through letters to the reader, an unknown pen pal.

The character’s throughout the book are well developed and likable. They go through typical teenage things and rely heavily on music and friends to get through the difficult things. The book covers difficult themes – from suicide, promiscuity, homosexuality, sexuality over all, and many other deep topics. I feel that it is a coming of age story for the ages.

While I don’t want to spoil the story, it’s a short book and a great read. The emotions are raw and real. The book deals with drug use, alcohol, and Charlie’s secret, which is fully revealed in the prologue. The foreshadowing points towards the secret, but never says it directly. You can finish the book and be satisfied without the prologue, but I highly encourage reading it.

Overall it has earned its way into my top ten list, and I plan to read it multiple times, and passing it onto my kids to hopefully help them cope with the trials of being not only a teenager, but a wallflower.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book Cover The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky
Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age, Realistic Fiction
MTV Books
August 14, 2012

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.

Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky's haunting debut novel has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, grown into a cult phenomenon with over two million copies in print, spent over six months at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and inspired a major motion picture.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it's like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

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