03 August 2009

Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Published: 1999 Pages: 213
Genre: Epistolary
Rating: 4/5

Buy  |  Borrow  |  Accept  |  Avoid

Plot Synopsis

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a collection of letters written by a boy using the name of "Charlie", chronicling his first year of high school. Charlie writes about his life: friends, drugs, sex, abuse, dances, family, and football.

My Thoughts

Four things stand out to me: 1) The way the letters are written remind me of an autistic child, specifically because of reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. The writing is similar.

2) There are many, many pop culture references in this book. Charlie's letters reference books, movies, and music almost continuously. These references make sense now that I know MTV published the book. That is not to say these inclusions were irrelevant or awkwardly included. They were actually integral to the plot of the book.

3) If this book is any indication, 99% of the world's population has been or is being physically abused in some way. Not to give away to much, but seriously?

4) The writer seemed rather intent on hitting every major teen-topic out there. Drugs, Sex, Love, Pregnancy, Abortion, Parents, Drinking, Smoking, Masturbation, Parties, Homosexuality, Football, College, and so on and so forth.

Despite any minor drawbacks, the book definitely kept my interest as I read it in one evening. It was an interesting and insightful look into the life of a messed up pre-teen. It reminded me of high school, and while for the most part, the book made me grateful that I made it out alive and well, I was now and then reminded of the intensity of that age. I was remembering what it was like to "feel infinite".

Other Reviews
If I've forgotten to include your review, please let me know.


  1. I really liked this one when I read it last year.

  2. As much as I like YA, reading it often makes me feel very glad my high school years are over and won't be coming back.

  3. Bart - Glad you stopped by!

    Nymeth - I know! It's so nice to not be in high school with all that drama.

  4. I could see why the cover spoke to you ... and it sounds like an interesting book in many ways.

  5. Jenners - It was a very unique cover; when I went in to B&N, I thought I was looking for some heavily ornamented, probably victorian-looking cover, but this just popped right off the table and screamed "look at me, look at me".

  6. Yet to read this one , though I have it with me since long now. Nice review.

  7. Shona - I would give it whirl to see if you like it. It's a quick read so no pressure.


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