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The Perks of Being a Wallflower (edition 1999)

by Stephen Chbosky

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11,114449251 (4.03)310
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

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Author)

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English (447)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (450)
Showing 1-5 of 447 (next | show all)
The novel is entirely told to the reader through letters during Charlie’s first year of high school. He does not have many friends, but manages to become close friends with Samantha (Sam) and Patrick who are brother and sister. He first speaks with them at a football game as Patrick is cheering for Brad, the quarterback. The basic topics of Charlie’s letters deal with school; family relationships; finding friends; first dates, sexual encounters; suicide; and drugs.

This is Stephen Chbosky’s debut novel and has been several weeks on the NYT YA bestseller list (# 12 as of June 1, 2014). Personally, I think it too sexually explicit for the recommended ages (Ages 14 and up). I would suggest 16 or 17 as the youngest age range.

The term ‘wallflower’ is given a slightly different definition from the standard version. Per dictionary.com, it means ‘a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance’. In this novel, it tends to mean someone who hears a lot; understands a lot, and remains silent. The novel seems to suggest that sex and homosexuality are inevitable in high school. The Perks of Being a Wallflower has become a major motion picture starring Emma Watson as Sam; Logan Lerman as Charlie; and Ezra Miller as Patrick. A movie trailer is below.

I realize I’m in the minority, but I rated The Perks of Being a Wallfower at 2.5 out of 5. The redeeming quality of this novel for me is how supportive Charlie, Sam, and Patrick are with each other.

http://www.fictionzeal.com/perks-wallflower-stephen-chbosky/ ( )
  FictionZeal | Aug 31, 2014 |
I fell in love with the main character of the book. His mature yet jaded outlook on life and death was something that I could really relate to. The book shadowed many of my own experiences and thoughts while growing up. So many big questions that are left for you to figure out in whatever way you can (be it through friends, family, books or from your own experiences). It brought up all those thoughts again and my experiences with them... it really brought me back to those days. I love how the author took this outcast kid and used in him in such a way that brought up so many stories and emotions, things people can relate to or at least gain an understanding for. It truly was a fantastic book and I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
This will forever be my feel good book. I am currently suffering through depression and have been for several years, and if there was a day that I mentally couldn't move then I pulled out this book. Charlie's words would envelope me, and I would lose myself in the pages of the novel. The book is not for the light of heart, and if you do choose to venture through Charlie's freshman year with him, be sure now to blink or you could miss a second of this beautiful piece. ( )
  juliamarinaro | Aug 19, 2014 |
I'm torn on this one. I thought the overall writing of the book was ok, but I personally didn't enjoy reading it. Probably too graphic for me at this time. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
A slam poet recently said in a workshop I attended that writing tragedy is one thing, but putting tragedy into your poetry just for the sake of it is not effective. A lot of this feels as though it was tragedy for the sake of tragedy. I like Charlie. I related to him in a lot of ways. In other ways he was unbelievable and unrealistic. I am very torn on this book. It will require a bit more reflection before I can truly determine how I feel about this one... ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
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 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.

(summary from another edition)

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