Books & Writing

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: Book Review

I used to run a book review blog where I frequently asked for suggestions on what to read, and I was bombarded with all the messages I got telling me to read Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. That many book fans couldn’t be wrong, so the next time I headed to the bookstore, I picked up a copy. It took me a little time to actually start reading, but once I started, I could not put it down until I was finished.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is told entirely through letters written to “a friend”, and signed by our protagonist, Charlie. Charlie wants to start off his freshman year of high school with a bang so that maybe, for once, he’ll be remembered as someone fun and interesting, and not just a boy who gets along with his English teachers. His life changes completely once he meets his new friends, Sam and Patrick, who introduce Charlie to a life of drugs, adventure, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Through his letters, Charlie discovers how much more rewarding life is when he actually learns to participate and connect with people instead of just being an observer.

This book is actually addictive. I normally don’t get upset when I finish a book, but I was sad that I had to put this down and say goodbye to Charlie and his friends. They are just such a lovable group of people with whom every teenager will be able to relate to at least one character. I am so happy fellow book lovers introduced me to this book. My life was forever changed by Chbosky. I hope one day I’ll be able to write such a novel that has the ability to inspire teenagers like this book inspired me.

I highly recommend that if you are at all interested in watching the film adaption, you first read the novel. It’s not a long read, but if you try to read it after the film, I think you’ll miss a lot of the characterization of Charlie that is really impossible to capture on camera the same way Chbosky catches it on the page.

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