The Perks of Being a Wallflower: By Stephen Chbosky (Book Review)

perks of being a wallflower

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 uncharted 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 can’t 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.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.


Wow!! I couldn’t have picked a better book to start off 2015 with!  This novel perhaps is not only one of the best YA books I have ever read, but one of the best books I have read, period. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is quirky, poignant, and deals with numerous issues.  Chbosky’s novel is not another empty young adult book read merely for entertainment, but rather, it is a profound book which is threaded with themes and messages.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower attains all the fundamentals of a coming of age story.  However, Chbosky expertly depicts the voice of struggling teen, making it stand out against other coming of age stories.  Furthermore, nothing in this novel is distorted by romanticism or unrealistic fantasies, rather, it provides an extremely authentic glimpse into the life of the main character, Charlie.

Charlie is an incredibly unique and insightful main character.  Charlie is an innocent boy who lives a disturbingly unfair life.  He often cries and is emotionally unstable, but Chbosky does not make him weak.  Charlies is not a fragile character who can be shattered into a million pieces, but rather, he is developed as a strong character for not giving up on his life even when the world seems to be fighting against him.  Perusing the book, I knew that Charlie has problems, but when I learned what his issues were I was broken.  I laughed and cried with Charlie along his journey, therefore, it is heartbreaking to see just how cruel the world has been to such an earnest boy.

As a short, concise book, the Perks of Being a Wallflower deals with heavy issues.  I actually cannot think of any problems that were not discussed in this novel.  Chbosky tackles drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, teen pregnancy, and more all in one book!  I would normally think that there were too many issues crammed into one book, but this novel is an exception.  Chbosky deals with each problem honestly making everything feel real.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is written as a series of letters from Charlie to an anonymous friend over the course of his freshman year. This style of writing made the book faster and easier to read, although it already is super short! Also, it made the novel feel real.  We never learn who this anonymous friend is, thus, it feels like Charlie is specifically writing to his readers. Moreover, I loved observing how Charlie’s writing actually improved from the start to end of the novel.  It is these small details that Chbosky includes that make this novel so stupendous.

Overall, I think EVERYONE should read this book.  I know I will read it time and time again, picking up on something new each time.  If you haven’t already done so you must pick up this book now!

147c1-5stars

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