Tuesday, January 28, 2014

REVIEW: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower  by Stephen Chbosky
Publication Date: February 1, 1999
Publisher: MTV Books and Pocket Books
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through unchartered territory: the world of first dates and mix 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. But he cant stay on the sideline forever. 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.

I'm in a weird place about this book. I wasn't 100% impressed with it, but I didn't completely dislike it either. Overall, I feel that there were tons of things that the author could've (and should've!) done differently but there were also a few things that I know he did well. Let's discuss!

Charlie , as an overall main character, is a mess! That's right! I said it! He's a MESS! This poor kid has got some serious stuff going on and we don't know exactly what it is. I believe that Charlie has some form of Autism, but I don't know for certain. I feel like the author should have confirmed (or denied) my suspicions. For some reason, he didn't touch on Charlie's "issue" so much as other life factors that could also have contributed to the way Charlie is. Maybe the purpose of that was to take away the focus of Charlie with "a mental issue" and focus on all the life events that have happened to him. I'm not sure, but I do know that this definitely could've been handled differently.

I absolutely LOVED Charlie's two best friends, Patrick and Sam! They were both such fun characters to read. Especially the love interest between Charlie and Sam. She was older than him, but saw him for who he was and appreciated that he saw her the same way. Even aside from all the "issues" she saw him have she managed to keep her cool and still be by his side which shows strength and love on her part.

And Patrick! Ahhh love Patrick! Getting to see his character and his relationships was great. He's such a fun person and so loving to Sam and Charlie (and Brad!) I loved that we got to see a gay character in a book. I feel like I never see enough of it and honestly, it's a great side to read. Seeing his struggles with Brad and the fight that happened was tough but necessary. Unfortunately, these are issues that still happen to people today and it's sad that Brad was so embarrassed by the situation that he played out the only person he actually loved, Patrick!

There is actually only ONE thing that I really hated about this book...Charlie cried for everything. EVERYTHING! I mean, I get that he has some emotional issues to work through and he wasn't even aware of them in the beginning, but he really needs to work on THAT! he cried for every little thing. Someone smiled- he cried, something smelled good- he cried, the sky was blue- he cried. Dude, WTF!?!? So yea, that was an epic fail!

But, overall, after writing all review I have to say that I liked it way more than I realized. Obviously there's way more going on that I didn't write about an you can make your own opinions about those, but I think this was a decent book and there were some good moral issues going on that really make you think. So go forth and read, swooners!

SIDE NOTE: I saw the movie and LOVED it! The author did the screen play for it and I guess he realized that some things didn't need to transfer over (read: Charlie stopped crying!) I highly recommend seeing the movie and reading the book. Both were good. Overall, the movie was way better though!


  1. YES! I agree about the whole crying thing. That did get annoying. I also really loved the movie better than the book. I mean, I liked the book, but I wasn't too impressed with the overall voice of it if that makes sense (:


    1. Makes TOTAL sense Amber. I talked mostly about things I liked, but there were a few things that I didn't like at all. The movie totally changed my mind. Funny how that happens sometimes. In my entire lifetime of reading, this is the second book turned movie that I actually liked the movie BETTER! Haha!


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