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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen…

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (edition 1999)

by Stephen Chbosky

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13,535578157 (4.02)369
Title:The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Authors:Stephen Chbosky
Info:MTV Books (1999), Edition: Original, Paperback, 213 pages
Collections:Young Adult, Fiction, Favorites

Work details

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (bookworm12, Caramellunacy)
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    The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Virgin Suicides is pretty heavy going however there are quite a few films about teenage angst they might work. Some are darker than others and some are quite old but they could work with Perks... Breakfast Club, Heathers, Girl Interrupted, Rebel without a cause, Footloose, The Year my Voice Broke, Donnie Darko, Ferris Bueller's Day Off.… (more)
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» See also 369 mentions

English (573)  Danish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All (579)
Showing 1-5 of 573 (next | show all)
About this book: so this was my favourite book when I was in 10th/11th grade. I haven't watched the movie, even when people have told me that they loved it. I was afraid of rereading it just in case it didn't hold up, so what did I think about it?

It held up okay.

I've read so many things ever since I was in high school, and my tastes have changed, but the book is a little jewel. I can see why in the peak of my depression i loves this book, and even if I'm in a better place now, I still cried in some parts.

Now, why aren't I giving it the 5 ⭐️? It has some pretty noticeable flaws: the writing style is pretty plain and even when it is realistic, it is annoying and it doesn't let the characters be more than paper thin. Also, it tackles a lot of problems, although realistic, they are barely mentioned. I do acknowledge that this was probably because the author wanted anyone to see themselves reflected in Charlie, but I wasn't totally on board with it. ( )
  anagabymtz08 | Jun 25, 2017 |
I was prepared to dismiss this as overrated, and full of adolescent melodrama, but Charlie is such a thoughtful, sympathy-inducing narrator, that even though he cries a lot, you can't stay annoyed at him for long because he's just a good, smart kid (and the more books he reads, the better he becomes at expressing his insights), to whom, unfortunately, bad things happen.

It is remarkable though how this ticks all the boxes. Think of a 'controversial' topic and it's probably here: suicide, teenage sex, abortion, rape, physical violence, masturbation, homosexuality, LSD, marijuana, alcohol, smoking... Heck, even The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

These kids are not your standard role models, and this is not a very happy book. But I would not hesitate in recommending this to young adults who might feel, as Charlie does, a little different/awkward/freakish/unstable, and are just trying to get by and make sense of things. Because when you're that age, aren't we all like that.

I wonder how I would have reacted to this had I read it in my teens though. There is definitely another level of appreciation when this book is read with a few more years on you. There are so many sad truths that will resonate more after you've weathered most the tumult of adolescence, and are situated in a relatively calmer (more boring, yuppie) vantage point.

Favorite, mantra-worthy quote, that was a perfect note to end the book with: "Please believe that things are good with me, and even when they're not, they will be soon enough." ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
Fantastic book. I couldn't put it down the minute I started reading it. ( )
  lapiccolina | Jun 23, 2017 |
I've finally read it and it is everything I wanted it to be.
I did see this film first, only because I was impatient and my book hadn't arrived in the mail yet. But they are so close and so similar. I love it. Instant favourite.

I want to hug Charlie.
Hug him and never let go. ( )
  Shahnareads | Jun 21, 2017 |
This book has been on my long-list since forever. Forever meaning since my college days? And I think I probably should have read it around that time - I might have had a better appreciation for it. Anyhow...

The book is formatted in a letters to a friend/stranger form and covers the span Charlie's (the main & only POV) high school freshman year. If you have ever felt 'different'/left out or just out-of-synch with your peers, then this book will speak volumes to you - as a contemporary or as someone you remember (viz. yourself at that age - mentally or otherwise). Charlie is lucky in that he found people who accepted him as is and had family who supported him - many are not so fortunate. I won't go much into the nitty gritty - it was a pretty fast read and it is pretty straightforward.

"We accept the love we think we deserve..."

My one main takeaway from this book was how important it is to have people accept you before you can accept yourself. People are at times fragile in ways you don't think - our deal-breakers sometimes the most unexpected things, our inner landscapes alien to even our own selves. So, yeah... this is a pretty personal book... and whether you like it or not will probably depend on whether you can relate to it.

Rating: I can't say I *really* liked it but I did like it - hence the 3 star rating. Some of it did remind me of high school - though only in a feelings evoked way and not necessarily in a similar experience way. Mostly it was a window into Charlie's world... though I did enjoy the letter to a friend/first person POV format - as it reminded me of a scene from the movie "In The Mood For Love" where the main character related an old story of "how in older times, when a person had a secret that could not be shared, he would instead go atop a mountain, make a hollow in a tree, whisper the secret into that hollow and cover it with mud". Same difference. We all need outlets I guess. ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 573 (next | show all)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chbosky, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Galvin, NoahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:17 -0400)

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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.

(summary from another edition)

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