Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Published: 1999
By: MTV Books and Pocket Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
ISBN:  9780671027346

Goodreads

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I don’t know why, but with the hype around this book I was expecting something else. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book enough to finish reading it in about 4 days, it had a slew of topics that are worth discussing with a teen audience:

Suicide.
Same-sex relationships.
Abuse.
Relationships.
Drugs and alcohol.
Mental health.
Family dynamics.

I’m sure there’s a few others, but these are the more prominent ones I noticed.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is written in a “diary” format, where the main character, Charlie, is writing a letter on (almost) a daily basis to an undisclosed recipient – I honestly would’ve loved to know who that person was, but I realize that’s not the point. Throughout the book Charlie writes about his life, starting with the death of his aunt and the suicide of his best friend. From then on it’s about the classes he’s in, the friends he makes, the drugs he’s tried, the alcohol, his birthday, Christmas, the girls he dated and loved and admired, teachers, books, and all the other details and “little things” that most people don’t even acknowledge because they are generally considered meaningless and normal.

I found this novel at times humorous, and sometimes I was just confused. I really do wonder what Charlie’s true mental state is, because although I know some teens are very easy-going, but he just came across as this blank slate without a clue of what to do in a lot of situations. I understand he’s dealing with depression, but maybe I wasn’t supposed to get the impression of him being a “normal teen” because of his past, and I was expecting a teen with better thought and action processes. Am I wrong here?

I will one day watch the movie and compare notes, but for the time-being, I’ll remain in this state of awe where there is music that is meant to make you feel infinite, that the loss of somebody important in your life shouldn’t stop you from living, and the power of all-kinds-of-love is the most important thing you can have.

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About Black ' n Write Reviewer

Library Tech grad who is currently working on a BA in Political Science and filling all her time with books.
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2 Responses to Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  1. Pingback: Weekly Round Up (#31) | Black 'n Write

  2. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up (#12) | Black 'n Write

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