The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Paperback Book

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (15 ratings)

Description

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.

Now a major motion picture starring Emma Watson and Logan Lerman.

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 Charlie 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.

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Reviews

Showing 1 - 5 of 15 reviews.

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Review by
4

Perhaps I should have read it younger. In fact, I know I should have; if I had picked it up aged sixteen, I would have thought it astonishing, seminal, a book that spoke to me. Reading it at the ancient age of twenty-two, I think it's a book that captures a zeitgeist. It hasn't captured me the way it would have done years ago, but it is a small, sweet, touching novel, well-written and worth reading. The eponymous wallflower, Charlie, narrates his life in epistolary fashion, discussing the strangnesses of the world through the filter of the books he reads, his friends, his family and teachers, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. And that is all it is - but it's executed well, delightfully in places, and Charlie's friend Patrick, an urbane-but-sweet gay high-school sophisticate, is alone worth the price of admission.There is of course a darker undercurrent to Charlie's occasionally stilted narration, and I've seen him described as autistic, as severely disturbed, but that doesn't ring true for me; he reads as introverted and occasionally seriously depressed, and the portrayal of mental illness is also well-realised, sharing some rhetorical techniques with <i>The Bell Jar</i> and drawing the reader down into Charlie's mental crawlspace with him, but the illness is not the focus of the book. Somewhat clichedly, it's a coming-of-age story. And it didn't change my life, but it cheered one afternoon.

Review by
4.5
"He's a wallflower... You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand."I've never met a single person - friend, blogger, librarian or bookseller - who has read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and not fallen in love. This is such a wonderful book, and it's perfect summer reading too. It's the coming-of-age story of a fifteen year-old boy called Charlie, told entirely in epistolary form via letters to an unnamed friend-of-a-friend. Quiet, introspective and naive, Charlie is surely one of the most loveable and achingly sweet characters I've ever come across in my reading life. It is his freshman year, and to his surprise his largely solitary existence is turned upside down when he is 'adopted' by worldly older stepsiblings Patrick and Sam. At the same time his English teacher, Bill, begins to draw him out of his academic shell with some well-timed encouragement. Slowly, his new friends nudge Charlie out into the big wide world, into a bountiful land of music and books, love and longing, parties and The Rocky Horror Picture Show - and stand beside him through the hardships that teenage life and his own past conspire to throw his way. This is definitely going to be one of my favourite books of the year. I adored Charlie and found myself underlining things on almost every page as his thoughtful exploration of the world around him prompted me to stop and reflect. I also noted down dozens of movie, book and music references to check out later, which was a bit of an unexpected bonus! Through his letters we can see Charlie's style mature as he does, and our involvement becomes deeply personal because it feels like he's writing just for us. Chbosky's characters are complex and painfully real, and no one is all good or all bad, even Charlie himself. I think Patrick was my favourite, because he was all heart even when he wasn't necessarily doing the right thing! I loved Bill too - I think every student should have a Bill to see their strengths and provide a shining light of knowledge and hope during the difficult school years. Some really serious teen issues are discussed throughout the book - rape, drugs, gay identity, abuse - without ever feeling too heavy or gratuitous, and I can well understand the reputation it has gained as a positive, even life-saving cult classic for young readers.The only thing I didn't like - and the reason for the half-star drop - were those occasional moments when I felt like my heart would break because SURELY no one could be so naive at fifteen? The book becomes quite difficult to read at times as Charlie's naivety is stripped away - this is the true meaning of the word 'bittersweet'! But it really is an unmissable novel. Charlie is such an intuitive character, and the writing is beautiful; he thinks outside the box and it's a pleasure to read! He is inspiring and generous, and accepts everything with a high level of tolerance and emotional intelligence, even if he is very childlike in other ways. There is something for everyone here, whether you are 15 or 50 - and I can't WAIT until 2013 when Chbosky's adaptation finally hits the big screens. I'll be first in line to laugh and cry all over again... :)
Review by
4

Acquired via BookCrossing 23 Jul 2011 - picked up from Ali at a meetupCharlie writes a series of letters to an unknown recipient as he negotiates the first year of High School, first love, and the deaths of his friend Michael and aunt Helen. I like a coming of age / small town novel and this was pretty good, especially the music references, however it was a bit clumsily didactic in places ("you probably know this, being older, but I'll tell you anyway", followed by an explanation of something a teenager might have difficulty with, a few times) and bits of the story were a little too obvious. Having said that, I'm not really the target audience, and I'm sure these parts would be useful for the shy, bookish teen, looking for info on how to get through these years.

Review by
4

In the beginning, it bothered me a bit that Charlie sounded a lot younger than he was. He grew up a lot during the course of the book though, so his writing style became more mature and more enjoyable to read.I really liked the book, but I thought the ending could have been a bit more elaborate. It all happened so fast that I had to reread a bit before I truly knew what was going on.

Review by
4.5

A really good coming of age book- I guess I am about the same age as Charlie, so a lot of the songs and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, really brought me back. I really like the format, how Charlie is discribing his life to a secret friend, and you slowly get to know him through his letters. At the same time, I guess Charlie gets to know himself. In a way, it is a book about not belonging, and feeling so much more real than Prep- I guess the difference is that Charlie is really likable and that he is developing. The last chapter really was like the last piece of puzzle that made everything fall into place. What surprised me was that the author has also written Rent, that I thought was the most overrated musical I have ever seen. Maybe I just saw a really bad production??

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