The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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.

This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a book that made such an impact on me! I have read it a couple of years ago and have decided to reread it. I have to say the second time reading was even better than the first. I first read this book because I thought I could relate well to it. I am a wallflower and people do not really notice me. I was pretty content with that as I can kind of just watch what happens around me. After reading this book I am also trying to “participate” just like Charlie. The Perks of Being a Wallflower does contain some mature things in it such as abuse, sex, and drug-use

The characters were superb. I was able to relate very well with the three main characters-Charlie, Sam, and Patrick- and cared very much for them. Charlie was a very good narrator as he observed the world around him. His naivety and innocence surprised me and how he kept that about himself throughout all of the book despite all the things he was being exposed to. Charlie had a very unique voice and I loved that about him. Sam and Patrick were great characters(Patrick being my favorite). Sam was very insecure at the beginning but she developed a lot throughout the book and at the end she became a very strong character. Patrick was hilarious and sad at the same time, and he also developed as a person very well. The rest of the characters were also great and very relatable. My only complaint was that at some times Charlie did seem a little unrealistic.

The story was about something very simple: growing up. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a character driven novel so the main focus is the characters struggles in their life and how they overcome them. I really enjoyed this as I could just enjoy the characters that I cared for very much and see them grow into stronger people. Some moments made me cry and some made me laugh and some made me just stay quiet just thinking. The story of The Perks of Being a Wallflower was very enjoyable and thought-provoking.

I enjoyed the writing very much. The story is told in the form of letters from Charlie. I loved this because I felt like I was the person who was getting the letters from Charlie and learning about a real person’s life. The dialougue and characters were very well written and very easy to understand. There are some sentences that are used repetitively but I was never bothered by that as when I write letters I tend to do the same.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone. The book was very thought provoking, melancholy, heart-warming, and relateable.

I give The Perks of Being a Wallflower 4.5 out of 5 Stars

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Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Chops”
because that was the name of his dog
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
Valentine signed with a row of X’s
and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it
Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Autumn”
because that was the name of the season
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint
And the kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed a lot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it.
Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it “Innocence: A Question”
because that was the question about his girl
And that’s what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year that Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
of the Apostle’s Creed went
And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
And the girl around the corner
wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at three a.m. he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring soundly
That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem
And he called it “Absolutely Nothing”
Because that’s what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn’t think
he could reach the kitchen.

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