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The Perks of Being a Wallflower (edition 1999)

by Stephen Chbosky

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,550537191 (4.01)351
Member:SmashAttack
Title:The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Authors:Stephen Chbosky
Info:MTV Books (1999), Edition: Original, Paperback, 213 pages
Collections:Young Adult, Fiction, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  1. 110
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (Sadie-rae_Kieran)
  2. 50
    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (bookworm12, Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both Speak and Wallflower are books about young teens struggling to find acceptance in high school while trying to deal with trauma - both without being preachy or cloying.
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    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (MickyFine)
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    Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (derelicious)
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    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (LadyBlakeny)
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    How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater by Marc Acito (themephi)
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    Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these emotionally intense realistic fiction novels are set in the recent past, and feature misfit protagonists working through the agonies and ecstasies of first love, friendship, and surviving high school.
  8. 00
    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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    The Pornographer's Poem by Michael Turner (Smigs)
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    Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes (kaledrina)
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    Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira (rosylibrarian)
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» See also 351 mentions

English (533)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (537)
Showing 1-5 of 533 (next | show all)
I think this was a very interesting novel. It started off quirky and I thought Charlie had aspergers and then by the end of it, you see is his life spiral out of control and finally learning why he is the way he is... the last few letters are very dark.

The very last one surprised me because the way Charlie forgives and resolves to "live his life" and not let things that happen to him define him... it speaks for how brave his character has become; he's taken his friends advice and finally made himself a priority. Some people might find the ending too neat and cliche but I liked it. It seemed to suit his character.

Complaints: his character cries... A LOT. To the point that it sometimes seems unbelievable but I guess that's one of "side effects" the author wanted to emphasize. ( )
  meowism | May 17, 2016 |
This is one of those books you can read cover to cover on a rainy afternoon but be forewarned, once you hit the last page you will flip back to page one and start all over again.
Charlie is a typical shy teenager on the eve of his first day as a freshman in high school. With a strong desire to unburden his life he's writing letters, diary style, to an unknown person he has chosen out of the phone book. Why he writes these letters we'll never know, but what emerges is a portrait of a sensitive kid just trying to make it in the world. Just like a diary we are privy to his coming of age, his intellectual growth, his emerging personality. Personally, as I got to know Charlie better and better I found myself constantly sucking in my breath, willing him to not get hurt. I came to care about him that much. Even though the ending is a clear as an oncoming rain storm I didn't want to believe in its terrible beauty. ( )
  SeriousGrace | May 16, 2016 |
I didnt really understand what was wrong with Charlie till the end of this book, when everything with Aunt Helen came into place. Then I made a connection to Kurt Cobain, how both Charlie and Kurt felt other peoples pain, and how Charlie knew he was in a bad place. I think If charlie never found friends he would have killed himself, just like Kurt did. Kurt Cobain was a wallflower. I recommend this book for any teen, and any Nirvana fan. ( )
  bethanyrenee13 | May 13, 2016 |
YA..... Aaaarrrrgggghhhhhh.....

I hate YA books, where people seem so stupid for silly things. I hate to think that i too went through this phase of life, a dumb phase.

It was a OK read. You won't loose much even if u skip some pages, may be some sex scenes or partying or some suicides or drugs, alcohols. Is a teen life full of these? Well mine never was, so I always find it difficult to relate to the events in YA books. What is common in YA and my YA life, is dumbness :P

Charlie, narrates the story to the readers with letters (only good part in this book). He has a good family, not goody goody but average caring one, but still he has to cry over all the silly things, he struggles to keep himself sane, he drinks, he gets stupid friends (yet a little caring), he smokes pot, watches his sister having sex (how ridiculous) and rape(too much)...
And the climax was horrible...Chbosky has tried to fill in all the bad things that can happen in a teen school life in to charlie's life. That was unbearable and unfair. How can these may things happen only to him and effect only him?

Only the narration saved it from getting 1 star from me :) ( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
I concede that this book has major problems, but I can relate so well to Charlie and his friends that I have to give it a pass. I was one of those kids listening to The Smiths, making and receiving mix tapes, who thought that going to The Rocky Horror Picture Show was the ultimate in risqué entertainment.

Generally, I do not like epistolary books. Normally, this one would be no exception, but again, I can relate to Charlie’s gang so well that I can read between the lines and flesh out the emotionally stunted narration. There are too many serious issues addressed in this book, but I either heard of or witnessed all of them during my time in high school. And I have to disagree with other reviewers who called it cliché, because in my opinion, the universality of an experience in no way makes it a cliché. If you could go through puberty without being a sloppy mess at least part of the time…
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 533 (next | show all)
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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.
Quotations
“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)

(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.

(summary from another edition)

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