The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, published August 2012 by Simon & Schuster.
Read: August 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Romance/Contemporary/Issues
Source: Purchased – eBook
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: 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 he can’t stay on the sidelines 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.
I’d seen this book around for ages but just never picked it up, even though generally I’d heard pretty good things about it. I kept putting it off, but luckily for me this was the book you chose for me to read from my Top Ten Tuesday list of Books That Give Me Bookish Indecisive Syndrome, so as promised, here is my review 🙂 . This story-line surprised me, it wasn’t what I was expecting, but in a good way. Even though the book is very popular, and of course the movie too, I hadn’t had this read spoiled for me, so some parts of it really did leave me speechless. I do wish I had have found this book sooner, as I think teenage me would have really took a lot from it.
I really enjoyed reading a novel in the style of a diary or letters, for me it was nostalgic as it reminded me of many books I read in my teens that followed a similar style. Though I have to say, it does drive me insane that we never find out who Charlie is writing to (or do we? Is there a hint in there I’ve missed?). It maybe isn’t important to the story overall, but I have this feeling that who he chose to write to is pretty important, as he isn’t the sort of character to tell his life-story to just anyone.
I read this book in one sitting. Granted it isn’t a very long book, and the letter-style tends to lend itself to a quick read, but still, reading a book in one sitting is not something I do often. For such a short book, Chbosky touches on so many important issues that do affect a variety of teens and adults, from loss to rape, sexual assault to suicide, drugs to bullying and homosexuality to coming-of-age, Chbosky has taken them all, approached them with honesty and truth and presented them uncensored to the reader in beautiful writing. I can see why this book is so popular with so many, but I have to say, it still wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I’m not even sure what that was to be honest, obviously there was/is a lot of hype surrounding this book, so I wonder if that effected my read…
Out of all of the supporting characters I had a particular soft spot for Patrick, which was only compounded when I watched the movie adaptation. Yes, brownie points for me, I put the movie on as soon as I’d read the book. The adaptation was pretty much perfection, it’s clear to see that Chbosky had creative input in the movie, as it stays so true to the heart of the book’s story-line.
“And in that moment I swear we were infinite.”
Although there were elements of this book that screamed teenage honesty to me, I don’t think I would reread it, and it didn’t quite resonate with me as much as it does for others. It’s definitely a book I would have loved as a mature teen, possibly more than when I read it as an adult, and there are certainly some quotes that will stay with me. It was a real challenge to find the words for this review.
I read and reviewed this book because it was selected for me by my readers as part of my new Have Your Say poll at the end of my Top Ten Tuesday Posts. To vote in my latest poll click here.
Yeah, this book was tough – good in a lot of ways, but tough. Charlie can sometimes be hard to relate to. I think I enjoyed it more than you did, but I also don’t feel like it’s the type of book I might re-read.
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
That’s it exactly! I struggled with the review, because I did enjoy it and was suitably shocked by the revelations, but at the same time based on what my rating scale means, it didn’t blow me away or make me want to reread it really. I might pick it up again, but I can’t say it’s a firm favourite. I think I’m confusing myself lol I wouldn’t say “oh my God, you HAVE to read that!” but at the same time I think everyone should at some point in their life, preferably in their late teens…lol R x
I’m interested to read this, simply because I loved the film so much. Logan Lerman was flawless!
It’s great that Chbosky touches on so many serious issues and really takes the time to explore them, rather than just gliding over them and using them as plot devices for the sake of it. If the film is anything to go by, it seems he really does get right into the nitty gritty details.
I’m glad Patrick is just as awesome in the book 😀 he was my favourite character in the movie!
Hi Allie, thanks for stopping by 🙂 I really liked the fact that Chbosky presents issues uncensored to his reader, they’re not glorified or exaggerated, just told “how it is”. I definitely connected with book Patrick, and loved movie Patrick, he was my favourite too 🙂 R x
I also read this book in one sitting, but not for any positive reasons. (I really disliked it.)
I think the person he’s writing to is purposefully left open (“Dear Friend“–not even a sex) to place the reader into that role.
Ohh. Must go check out your review. Ahh, I didn’t think of it that way! R x
I’m glad you enjoyed this one, I thought it was a brilliant book. I also loved the movie adaptation, they did a really brilliant job and I loved the casting.
I was so up-in-the-air about how I felt about this one, that it was hard to review it. I did enjoy it a lot, but didn’t gush about it. Tricky one to call! Thanks for commenting 🙂 R x
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