Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
By: Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: Feb. 1, 1999
Genre: Fiction

Barnes & Noble

 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 haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.



I must admit, I’ve read this one before. When I was a spring chicken in high school… ok, so that was only 10 years ago, but I have the memory of a fish, and plus – I’m older now so my perspectives have changed. Anyways, I picked up the book in urgency because the movie was coming out and I wanted to re-read it before seeing the movie.

It’s an easy read, meant for a teenager – and the storyline backs that up as the main character goes through all the trials and tribulations in his freshman year of high school. Although it was easy, I still really enjoyed it – even the second time.

The book has wise advice, harsh lessons, and an underlying theme of adolecent innocence. Perks highlights the super intelligent main character who is too passive for his own good, and all he wants is acceptance. Lusting after an older friend, all she wants is someone who is passionate, not passive. Intertwined stories of the main characters past finally come to fruition at the end, and it’s definately a twist.


“We accept the love we think we deserve”.

Even at 25 I still don’t get “love”, and this line really hit home to me. There are so many people I see in life that are settling because they’re too insecure to realize they deserve something and someone better.

** I went to see the movie after reading the book, and I have to say, the movie follows the book quite well. It was great reading the book and then seeing the movie, because there are two scenes that are better described visually than in words. I’d recommend seeing the movie! 

2 Thoughts on “Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  1. I really want to read this book and see the movie. I have almost picked it up countless times but never purchased it. Glad to hear that the movie is true to the book.

  2. I’ve read the book a long long long time ago, and I don’t even remember what happened in it. I do remember it was rather good. I haven’t even seen the movie yet. *cries*
    Giselle @ Book Nerd Canada

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