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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen…

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,267458249 (4.03)316
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English (454)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (458)
Showing 1-5 of 454 (next | show all)
I started reading this book because I heard there was about to be a movie made for it. I want to see the movie and I always read the book first if I am going to watch the movie. So, I picked up this book and it was not what I expected. It was intriguing as well as bewildering living inside a teenage boy's head for a little while.

I felt a real connection to Charlie though. The passage that talks about how he does things to make everone else happy even if it doesn't make him happy, that is totally me and I understood Charlie in better in that moment. I also felt a connection to him when I found out what happened at the end of the book. Not his actions but the actions that were taken against him. So many people have been through that sort of situation, too many, and even if it sounds twisted it is nice to not be the only victim of something so haneous.

There were a lot of pop culture references in this book, many of which I did not understand but I am going to definitely try to read a few of Charlie's books, listen to some of his music, and watch Rockie Horror Picture Show. I enjoyed this book for the way it shines a dark light on very real problems for the teenage generation.
( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 21, 2014 |
In The Perks of the Being a Wallflower, the precocious protagonist Charlie takes us through the roiling cesspool that is freshman year of high school. No hideous hunk of it bypasses the plot - bullying, school fights, drugs, unrequited love, abortion, suicide, child abuse. But we're not left to drown here. There's also love, comradery, compassion, forgiveness, and redemption. Charlie survives the gauntlet of freshman year, less naïve, less fearful, and on track to better things.

Stephen Chbosky transmits his story through letters. The recipient of the letters is anonymous, though presumably a girl also in high school. The style is easy and therefore believable, and it matures with the protagonist. Through this vernacular, Charlie expresses profound visions of his world - a critique of those who insist on verbosity.

Out in the world, it isn't uncommon to feel the insinuation that the centers of attention have monopolies on value and respect - the football star, the celebrity, the pop musician, the talk show host. Even the language for the shadow-chasers betrays the bias toward the sponges of attention. A wallflower merely decorates the walls like wallpaper, useless to the events that take place in the room. A sideliner ought to be in the game, but for one reason or another, watches others do the action. But contrary to the language itself, Chbosky proposes an alternative system of worth. Through the eyes of a reserved freshman in high school, he shows the value in the observer.

Naturally then, the story is an affirmation to the reader who is a wallflower. It legitimizes the life outside of football, outside of popularity. Outside of these, Charlie refines his observations and reflections, he plies the craft of writing, he sees firsthand the spectrum of high school life, and he takes part in strong relationships with other misfits. There's more enduring value in these than in the stereotypical high school scene of mindless jocks and flaunting bimbos.

"You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand." This is the wallflower, according to Charlie's friend Patrick. Quiet observation, introspection, reflection - the praiseworthy traits that the jocks and bimbos stereotypically lack. While Chbosky values this rendition of the wallflower, he doesn't exult all qualities a wallflower might have. Explicitly, he admonishes the tendency to trap oneself eternally in a solitary state of thinking.

So, apart from telling a story, the book offers a challenge, a moral of sorts. When we read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, we become the wallflowers and the non-participants who watch Charlie the wallflower develop, the non-participant participating, the sideliner breaking from forever thinking alone. Though fictional, Charlie's story is plausible and leads our imaginations to realize that it's entirely possible for us the readers to emulate Charlie and brave the tangles of our own worlds.
  BeauSalgado | Nov 5, 2014 |
This is the most optimistic, hopeful book I have ever read. It is beautiful, and gorgeous, and... infinite. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
I found this book extremely emotional, diverse and truly wonderful. Mr Chbosky allows the reader [me] to feel the emotions that the characters feel, to see what they see and to hear what they hear. The experience of this book has in some ways been life changing, and I will always remember the first time I read it. ( )
  michael.cox120 | Oct 1, 2014 |
I see a lot of negative comments on this book…
Yes i did buy it because i saw there was a movie of it.
And in my opinion the book really wasn't that bad. I really liked it, and yes maybe it's a wierd plot twist with the whole abuse thing it still was a good read.
And as always for me the book was way better then the movie. ( )
  lisa.isselee | Sep 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 454 (next | show all)
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Important places
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For my family
First words
Dear Friend, I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.
“Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”
“Not everyone has a sob story, Charlie, and even if they do, it’s no excuse.”
And I thought that all those little kids are going to grow up someday. And all those little kids are going to do the things that we do. And they will all kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn’t.
Because I guess we all forget sometimes. And I think that everyone is special in their own way. I really do.
The inside jokes weren’t jokes anymore. They had become stories. Nobody brought up the bad names or the bad times. And nobody felt sad as long as we could postpone tomorrow with more nostalgia.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671027344, Paperback)

What is most notable about this funny, touching, memorable first novel from Stephen Chbosky is the resounding accuracy with which the author captures the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood. Charlie is a freshman. And while's he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He's a wallflower--shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age, and gender, a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teen's story. Charlie encounters the same struggles that many kids face in high school--how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs--but he must also deal with his best friend's recent suicide. Charlie's letters take on the intimate feel of a journal as he shares his day-to-day thoughts and feelings:

I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why.
With the help of a teacher who recognizes his wisdom and intuition, and his two friends, seniors Samantha and Patrick, Charlie mostly manages to avoid the depression he feels creeping up like kudzu. When it all becomes too much, after a shocking realization about his beloved late Aunt Helen, Charlie retreats from reality for awhile. But he makes it back in due time, ready to face his sophomore year and all that it may bring. Charlie, sincerely searching for that feeling of "being infinite," is a kindred spirit to the generation that's been slapped with the label X. --Brangien Davis

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A coming of age novel about Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent. He deals with the usual teen problems, but also with the suicide of his best friend.

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