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The Perks of Being A Wallflower

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Book - 1999
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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.
Publisher: New York : MTV Books/Pocket Books, [1999]
Copyright Date: ©1999
ISBN: 9780671027346
0671027344
9780613237529
0613237528
9781435213579
1435213572
Branch Call Number: YA CHBOSKY
Characteristics: 213 pages ; 18 cm

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fall in love with characters & their friendship

What you loved/hated/couldn’t get enough of… I loved Patrick (one of Charlie’s friends). He is one of the funniest characters I have ever come across and his presence in the book makes it a million times better. (more)


From the critics


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y
yandang
Jun 19, 2021

The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Steven Chobsky is an epistolary-style novel about the trials and tribulations of high school, as told by our narrator and protagonist, Charlie. The book is a series of letters addressed to an unknown recipient, and Charlie says he has changed all the names of the people he writes about so as to stay anonymous. This poignant coming-of-age story takes us through Charlie’s rollercoaster of a high school experience, from advanced English to first love.
What I like most about this book is how sincere Charlie comes across, something the movie adaptation undoubtedly lacked. I would say this book is one of the most realistic depictions of high school life I’ve come across; the interactions Charlie describes are so ordinary and yet so compelling. I would give this book a rating of 4.5 stars.
The book does include some vulgar language and mentions of sexual encounters, but nothing too graphic, which is why I would give it an age rating of 15+.
-An Vu, Grade 10

pacl_teens Jun 11, 2021

"Have you ever been truly immersed and connected to a story about someone your age? Have you closed that book feeling both curious and thoughtful about what you just read? That's how I felt when I finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

I read this book when a friend at school recommended it to me. Little did we know, it would become a popular Netflix film! The Perks of Being a Wallflower was published at the turn of the century, 1999, and is not part of any series.

As I progressed through the novel, I felt myself inching deeper and deeper into the world of the protagonist, Charlie. Along the way, I had to stop myself from getting too attached to the characters for the sake of my emotional sanity! Chbosky writes this book with intimacy and authenticity. While the imagery was vivid and the conversations genuine, I felt as though the details that answered the backstory, or rather the background mystery regarding Charlie's mental health/mental condition were a bit too vague and confusing. While I had hoped for more clarity by the end, I was left a little more confused than I'd been at first and needed to ask my friend to explain the context for me. While that shows my lack of understanding in some areas, I was able to pick up on many of the other "ah-ha" moments throughout the book, and I really enjoyed watching the story unfold.

If you're looking for a book to relate to and characters to empathize with, this book is for you. If you're looking for a wild fantastical escape, this might not be for you. I give this book 4/5 stars due to it's overall enjoyability." -Evie, Grade 11

Barrie_Teen_Lists Mar 24, 2021

3.5/5

This book follows the journey of young Charlie through his teenage years. Charlie struggles with extreme mental health issues as well as struggling with some unresolved issues from his childhood. Charlie is an awkward, quiet teenage boy who struggles with self confidence and social anxiety issues. Charlie begins to feel more open when he is taken in by a group of misfits. With Charlie’s high school English teacher providing him with new material to read and write about his spare time is limited but he manages to spend it all with his new group of friends. Led by Sam and Patrick, the two odd stepsiblings from his school, Charlie’s group of friends leads him through his high school years with fun experiences, experimentations, and romances. When Charlie begins to fall deeply in love with his best friend Sam who does not feel the same way his previous mental health conditions make a reappearance causing serious strain on his relationships.

This book is written as a series of letters from Charlie to “his friend”. The actual identity of the person that Charlie is writing to is never revealed in the book or movie. The characters in this book are beautifully written. They are rich with thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we encounter in our everyday lives making both the characters and the book itself more relatable. The issues that the characters in the book face (such as substance abuse, romance, heartbreak, and mental illness) were relevant when the book was written, are still relevant now, and will continue to be relevant for years and years to come.

CMLibrary_Veronica Mar 23, 2021

I am hopelessly in love with this novel. I remember reading it for the first time when I was in middle school at some point - I'm thinking 8th grade. I remember crying my eyes out at the end and then having to go downstairs for dinner and being unable to think about anything else other than Charlie and his story and everything that he'd been through and how I related and understood and just wanted to give him a hug. I have that same feeling now.

When I read this book initially, I was in a really bad place - probably one of the worst places I have ever been in my life and I remember how much I wanted to feel like Charlie did at the end of the novel. Now, almost 9 years later, I am working to get to that place, to heal and take care of myself and put pieces back together that I forgot about or pushed away or that just didn't really fit right in the first place. Coincidentally, my therapist told me that this is the perfect book for me to read right now with everything I have going on in my life and I couldn't agree more.

I love all of these characters, I love the plot, I love that Charlie's innocence just radiates off the page but it's not a boyish innocence that is underwhelming and sometimes frustrating like it is in other novels, but it's pure and he's just doing his best and he fiercely loves and protects those he cares about. It's like his innocence is his love and he loves so well.

I think this book will be one that I tell my kids about, urge them to read, and hope they tell their kids and they tell theirs. I love this book that much.

f
Figureskatergirl
Mar 12, 2021

This book was amazing! I finished it in a week. The character development in the book is crazy and the perks of being a wallflower is definitely worth the read!!

a
AJMoore314
Mar 12, 2021

Finished March '21

WPL_Erin Mar 04, 2021

One of my favourite coming of age tales and what it means to be accepted.

l
lkim17
Feb 22, 2021

Charlie is an awkward teen who copes with the death of his best friend by writing letters to an unknown recipient. Through these letters, the reader sees Charlie make friends, spend time with more people, and begin to come out of his shell. He also forms a close bond with his english teacher, who acts as his mentor. However, Charlie suffers from multiple breakdowns throughout the story that signify his repressed feelings and a traumatic event. The Perks of Being a Wallflower has many heavy themes of friendship, sorrow, and love. This is a recommended book for teens to read.

a
alexqise
Feb 21, 2021

Charlie is a 15-year-old student and has just started his freshman year of high school. He is a “wallflower”, very shy but also very considerate and smart. The entire book is about the letters that he sends to a friend. Charlie is suffering the traumatic deaths of two of his close ones, his friend from middle school and his Aunt Helen. He befriends two seniors: Patrick and his stepsister Sam. As the year goes by, Charlie becomes less shy. However, more complications of romance start changing the way others look at him. This novel combines 2 topics in a glorious fashion: romance and popularity.

t
TristanWerden
Feb 01, 2021

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a very important book in my life. It held a very special place in my heart, and also started my infatuation with Rocky Horror. However, upon re-reading it, I realize that character development is weak at best, and that there are several unrealistic portrayals of mental health issues throughout the book.

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Age

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a
alexqise
Feb 21, 2021

alexqise thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

c
ciyer24
Jan 30, 2021

ciyer24 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

l
Lienhoatn
May 05, 2020

Lienhoatn thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

h
HelenaBeat
May 18, 2019

HelenaBeat thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

sarahbru17 Aug 03, 2017

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

e
Emmapaw257
Jul 25, 2017

Emmapaw257 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

j
JaceToews
Apr 19, 2017

JaceToews thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

RobertELPL Mar 04, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

f
fadisi
Feb 27, 2017

fadisi thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

awebster92 Aug 27, 2016

awebster92 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Quotes

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k
kayjimmy
Nov 09, 2019

heroes - David Bowie

Bookwormie95 Jun 09, 2018

"'I feel infinite.'
"And Sam and Patrick looked at me like I said the greatest thing they ever heard. Because the song was that great.... Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way. I have since bought the record, and I would tell you what it was, but truthfully, it's not the same unless you're driving to your first party, and you're sitting in the middle seat of a pickup with two nice people when it starts to rain."

e
Emmapaw257
Jul 25, 2017

"Even if we don't have the power to choose where we came from, we can still choose where we go from there."

h
hmhill613
Aug 18, 2015

"So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them."

h
hmhill613
Aug 18, 2015

"She was sad, though. But it was a hopeful kind of sad. The kind of sad that just takes time."

h
hmhill613
Aug 18, 2015

"I just want you to know that you're very special... and the only reason I'm telling you is that I don't know if anyone else ever has."

p
paytonm20
Jul 08, 2015

So, if this does end up being my last letter, please believe that things are good with me, and even when they're not, they will be soon enough.
And I will believe the same about you.
Charlie (pg.213)

thisgrrlreads Nov 19, 2013

“Dear friend, I do not like high school. The cafeteria is called the ‘Nutrition Center,’ which is strange.” (page 6)

e
Elizabeth Neilson
Aug 09, 2013

"In that moment we were infinite"

a
AngelFire101
Aug 02, 2013

"We accept the love we think we deserve"

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Notices

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l
Lienhoatn
May 05, 2020

Frightening or Intense Scenes: -There's an abortion.

sarahbru17 Aug 03, 2017

Other: Drugs.

sarahbru17 Aug 03, 2017

Sexual Content: Masturbation and sensual touching.

e
Emmapaw257
Jul 25, 2017

Sexual Content: There is reference and mention of sexual acts as well as sexual abuse though none of it is graphic, it is all implicit.

e
Emmapaw257
Jul 25, 2017

Violence: Characters are said to be/have been in abusive relationships as well as getting in fights.

e
emmilee
Jun 18, 2014

Sexual Content: Teens get initimate fairly frequently.

e
emmilee
Jun 18, 2014

Violence: Teens get into fights multiple times.

e
emmilee
Jun 18, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There is a rape scene.

BookWormChelly Jul 08, 2013

Sexual Content: oral sex.

ecrl Feb 02, 2013

Sexual Content: Oral sex among teens!

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Summary

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janellejordan Jul 12, 2015

goes on a journey to show how childhood can really effect a person and how friends can get someone out of any situation.

p
paytonm20
Jul 08, 2015

Charlie has just lost his best friend and is now starting high school with no friends. Enter Sam and Patrick as they integrate Charlie into their friend group and take him on wild adventures. Follow Charlie as he starts to heal and have the best experiences of his life while still figuring out how he feels

a
AngelFire101
Aug 02, 2013

Written in the format of a diary we are guided through Charlie's freshman year of high school. Where he experiences his first love and first taste of partying and his mission of finding him self.

destiny1218 Jul 09, 2013

a wonderful coming of age book that tells the tale of a young boy experiencing high school and finding himself along with a few new friends.

BookWormChelly Jul 08, 2013

A young man named Charlie who is writing his life through letters to an anonymous person of his high school experience.

k
knives94
Jun 11, 2013

a teenage freshman tells us his first year of high school through letters

b
Books2Ubooktalker
Oct 23, 2012

After learning of the suicide of another student, "Charlie" writes letters to ??? and tells us about his life as a lonely HS freshman. Sadness, loss and past mental health issues. He makes friends, learns about smoking cigarettes, spliffs, and LSD. Drinks and eats fast food. He experiments with girls and experiences kissing one boy and always loves Sam(antha), his good friend. He reads awesome books and tells us about them and has ups and downs with friends.

Saulia Jul 06, 2012

Charlie, the main character, writes letters to an unnamed person, and this is how his story is told. It talks about how he had trouble fitting in, until he met Sam - whom he fell in love with, and Patrick. These two become his best friends, and also his English teacher provides him with a list of books to read, making him feel more accepted.

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 07, 2012

this talks bout how a boy named chrlie is introduced of the world of drugs and luv and goes with his friends for help!!!!!!!

u
uhfrank
Apr 20, 2010

A young boy confides in you as a reader anonymously sharing his life through a series of letters. He is trying to find his place in the world.

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