Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

January 6, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: StePhen chobosky
Series: N\A
Pages: 213
Publisher: Mtv Books
Release Date:February 1st, 1999


Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix-tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

My thoughts:

I’ve heard countless times "hey Gabby read the perks.” I decided to give it a chance and I am glad in a way. Though, I honestly wish that I connected with this book as everyone else did, I liked this book. Unfortunately, I did not love it. I felt as it was missing something and that I didn't connect with it as much as most people did.

There were some things I really did like about this book. Charlie, is a socially awkward character who has always sat on the sidelines and watched others. What I liked was that Charlie was able to break that shell and I got to watch as he went from a socially awkward character on the sideline, to a socially awkward character with friends who lived life to the fullest. His teacher Bill was really an amazing character;he challenged Charlie to make that change and I think that he was the reason Charlie had the courage to talk to Sam and Patrick.

The fact that this book was written in the format “Dear Friend,” I think drew me in more because it feels as if he is addressing me and allowing me to listen and read about his life.
I do have to say that Charlie was very naive to the outside world,almost innocent in a way. Which, is why I really like that Sam was an amazing friend and helped him by giving him the information he desperately needed.

The Character development in this story was amazing. Charlie never spoke up for what he believed in and just let other people talk. The fact that in the end, he finally did what he wanted really shocked me and made me route for him more. The story line while simple, is also very cool. We are let in to Charlie’s world to see how he thinks and feels in what he has experienced and it’s just really cool to me to see how he acts.

Honestly I really do wish that I connected a little bit more with this book. In my case I don’t believe that I did because I’m in high school now and my freshman year wasn’t like that. It’s not that it was unrealistic. Trust me this book did have me laughing at the crazy, amazing things they were doing. I just think that for me I put my own experience into it without opening my eyes to what his life is like.Also, I think that now that the movie is out I was worried about how the characters were portrayed and how the movie was going to be.

 I believe that one day soon I will reread this book again, but for now these are my opinions on the book. While there was a few setbacks for me, I do have high hopes that one day I will pick this book up and be able to love it as much as everyone else and still see all the things I thought were great the first time. I have seen many mixed reviews about this, but honestly I couldn’t hate this book even if I tried. Even though, there were some parts that I couldn’t connect with in this book, it is truly a master piece. Like all art, unless you are open to see what the painter felt when painting it, you will never enjoy it as much as someone who understands that piece of art. I encourage you to try this book. Try to see what I couldn’t and I will re-read this and eventually also understand the art of this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Towers


  1. It looks like we may have had the same sort of experience with this book! I'm also glad to see I wasn't the only one who waited this long to read it :P


  2. I read this when I was in my sophomore year of high school and like you I didn't connect as much as others with Charlie but I am still one of those "socially awkward kids" even in my senior year! Great review :)

    New follower!

  3. I loved this book and it's interesting to see the way YA has evolved since this book came out in 2000. It's also interesting that this book influenced a lot of YA authors today....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  4. Aww I LOVED this book, but I understand how not everybody will connect with it. You're so right about the "dear friend" part...Charlie made you feel like a part of his story. It's just unlike anything else I've read. Great review :)

    -Jessica (Peace Love Books)