One critic compared 'Perks' to 'A Seperate Peace', and they couldn't be more right. There are several books that follow this sense of adolescent tragedy and emotion, and frankly, I believe 'Perks' lives up to the extremely high standard by which classics like 'A Seperate Peace' set. The realistic quirkiness of Chbosky's characters is amazing, and it really reminded me of a real life story. That is, in my opinion, something hard pressed to do. Too many people are afraid to read realism, and thus too many authors are afraid to write it. But Chbosky does not make any exceptions here. He writes with a passionate character and he makes that character as real as any human being could ever be.
This book is a series of letters written to an unknown friend by Charlie - a quiet young man who lives mostly in his head. These letters span about a year from the start of his freshman year in high school, as Charlie starts to learn how to "participate" in life instead of watching. He makes friends with some seniors who take him under their wing and seem to be understanding about his innocence. Charlie is a very unusual character - quiet, observant and thinks a lot about what he sees, seemingly highly sensitive and prone to crying, and unsure about how to interact with people comfortably. He seems very intelligent and yet strange. I had a feeling like.. something is up here, something I don't know, so I had to keep reading not only to find out about his high school experiences (which were hilarious, sad, crazy, unexpected and wonderful all wrapped up in one), but also to figure him out. I really had a good time reading this book - Charlie feels like a sweet kid everyone knows and is fond of, and I just zipped through this, but I want to go back and revisit.
This was a great book. I stayed up all night to read it. I know it's cliche but I really did laugh out loud in some parts & then cried in others. It completely exceeded my expectations and the tone reminded me a bit of "Catcher in the Rye." Definately a recommendation!
My 16-year-old nephew was the one who recommended this book to me so I wasn't sure what I would think but I really loved it. It brings you back to high school and all of the trials and tribulations that you go through as a teenager. And you're seeing it all through the eyes of a very intelligent, very special young man. The book is well-written and a quick read, and while it's geared towards a younger audience, I think it's something really anyone can enjoy.
wow this book is amazing.
i look at life differntly now
and the song asleep by the smiths is now my fave.
such a good book.
charile is just someone you want to hug...
i would read it 89 times.
I just finished reading "The Perks of Being A Wallflower" and I want to turn back to page one and read it again.
"The Perks of Being A Wallflower" is the coming of age story of Charlie, aged 15, told through letters he is writing to an anonymous friend. Charlie is a wallflower who observes people and feels very deeply for the experiences occuring around him. At the request of his English teacher, he is trying to participate more in his own life. Charlie is sometimes very overwhelmed by his depression and the other emotions that he feels.
Charlie speaks very honestly about what he observes, feels, and experiences. He becomes friends with two seniors (Patrick and Sam) and begins to experience dances, parties, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. He talks about his favorite Aunt Helen who died when he was seven and his best friend who committed suicide a year before he began writing the letters.
As the story unfolded, I thought, "This is a terrific story." and "This kid is really, really insightful." The full impact of the novel kicked me in the stomach in the final ten pages as all the threads came together. This book is a keeper!
It took me awhile to get used to the simplistic language in this novel. The whole book is written in the form of letters to an unknown recipient, and I dont know whether the flow of the language improved as the book progressed, or if it just felt that way as you got more comfortable with the style of the writing. Either way, the more I read, the more I fell in love with the protagonist, Charlie. Hes a sweet kid, just starting high school. This is a coming-of-age story thats at the young-adult reading level, but its chuck full of recommendations of Charlies favorite books and authors (most at an advanced reading level for most people Charlies age). I found that I have read or am planning to read every book mentioned in this novel. It just so happens that Charlie and I have very similar taste in books, and possibly that is what I like best about his character.
I feel like I know Charlie, and I feel like hes going to be a part of me for the rest of my life, like so many characters whom I really identify with. Thats the mark of a great character, and a great book.
Written as a series of letters from an anonymous high school freshman named Charlie to an unidentified person, this book brilliantly chronicles the issues facing high school students today. It's believable, real, and honest, without pushing anything too far. While it does deal with multiple adult themes (many of the same ones teens face every day), it does so in such a way that for the most part you have to already know about what is being referenced in order to understand. If you didn't already know, most of it would go over your head.
I found it brilliant and refreshing. It's not often you find a book that is brave and honest enough to acknowledge the truth nobody wants to admit: Teens already know about these issues. I wish this had been on my high school reading list. I got a lot more out of it than most of the 'safe' titles they gave us, which parents wouldn't object to but which also don't have anything for a teen today to take from them. This book had a very important message that all teens could take from it: Everything will be okay in the end. No matter what's going on in your life, or whether you're popular or not, it'll all be alright.
I think that's a message that it would be good for everybody to hear and trust.
A quick read that starts off so sweet and just morphs into this whole other thing. I loved and hated it at the same time. You come to really root for the main character and the end is really jarring. All in all I enjoyed the book, though I thought it ended on a really heavy note for the somewhat light feel that lead up to it.
One of the most challenged books of late, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a poignant epistolary coming-of-age novel. Charlie starts writing letters to an anonymous friend on the eve of starting high school in 1991. He soon befriends some seniors and begins to chronicle, if not fully participate, in adolescence. Although the allegedly objectionable themes--sex (gay and straight, potentially non-consensual), drugs, and rock 'n roll, suicide and mental illness--form the backbone of the story, they are balanced by Charlie's attempts to understand his changing world. His language is simple but his thoughts are surprisingly mature and sensitive. Chbosky's writing doesn't endorse those things, but being exposed to them Charlie tries to both understand and run away from them. It would be a shame to skip over this imminently likeable wallflower, who will likely grow up to be a warm, sensitive man, and not hear his message that is ultimately uplifting, optimistic, and courageous as he tries to "participate" in life.
This is a truly amazing book. All of the comparisons to 'Catcher in the Rye' and 'A Separate Peace' are dead-on. I find it difficult to imagine anyone disliking this novel. I've read it at least a dozen times and enjoy it more each time. The ending is a bit shocking as others have mentioned, but to use a cliche - the whole point of this book is the journey and not the ending.
If you grew up any time between the late 70's and late 90's, and were even a bit of a misfit who was on the fringe of mainstream popular culture, I'm pretty sure you will "get it" and fall in love a tiny bit with Charlie.
In this book you follow a teen boy as he shares his life through letters to an unknown friend. Heart-breaking and resilient, he story is touching. A must read if you have know or have been affected by abuse.
Charlie. Where to start with the character that every teen can relate to? He's not a character teens should look up to, respect, or idolize, because he makes the mistakes that every teen does. He is just proof that someone else really is going through the same thing. He really becomes more of a friend then anything.
This book is written as a journal, but Charlie writes like he's talking to a real person. It's definitely a different way of writing, and it really works for this book.
Charlie really is a wallflower. He looks at his life like he's watching through a window that he can't get on the other side of.
Charlie experiences all of the things that normal teens are exposed to, and he handles each in a different way.
Read THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, because Charlie makes you realize that everyone is going though the same types of ordeals. Love him, hate him, root for him, and cherish him. I know I always will.
I wanted this book for a long time before I actually received it, and trust me - it was worth the wait. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky addresses so many social issues, from homosexuality to social faux pas. It's a book that deserves to be read by everyone.
Don't hesitate in getting this book. It's a very moving read, and it sticks with you long after you finish it.
It may not look like it from the cover, but this book is a pager-turner. The protagonist of the novel, Charlie, is fifteen, shy, unpopular and self-contained. The book is in the form of a series of letters that he writes to someone he doesn't even know, and the letters contain Charlie's views and reactions to the world around him as he struggles through life.
Charlie's world begins to open up, for good and bad, when he makes friends with Sam and Patrick, leading to experimentation with drugs, girlfriends, parties and 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' - and to events in Charlie's own past.
Charlie is a winning character that you can't help but root for as he tries to fit into a world that he's not sure he ever will. Highly recommended reading for anyone who remembers how tough adolescence was to live through.
The movie based on this book was filmed here in Pittsburgh this past spring, so after hearing so much about it, I was intrigued. I simply LOVED it! Not only did I enjoy that it took place in my hometown, but I just loved the characters. I am a sucker for stories about awkward teenagers who don't seem to fit in (Catcher in the Rye, Prep, and A Separate Peace are some of my other all-time favorites). Charlie was very interesting to me. For most of the novel, I assumed that he is supposed to have Aspergers, but I questioned that theory after learning more at the end(I don't want to give anything away). I am still intrugued to know who the "friend" was he was writing his letters to. I also loved Sam, who will be played by Emma Watson in the movie. I just hope Hollywood can do justice to Chbosky's brillantly told story.
I greatly enjoyed this book. The plot was effective in keeping me wondering how it would end. The plot was more challenging than I expected as it had a number of small one liners that you had to catch to enjoy the story fully. The author did a great job with characters development - many of the characters had significant depth.
This is a story of dysfunctional lives, dysfunctional families and coping with high school. Charlie is a gifted kid with issues and a good heart. He is an endearing character learning to be himself. He writes anonymous letters to an anonymous friend so the entire book is from that perspective. However, I read this because of recommendations to me and it is really not my cup of tea. Reading, for me, usually means an escape from the real world, not seeking out dysfunctional characters in fiction. I think there may be some lessons for teens but too much political correctness and too many issues for the sake of issues for my taste.
This book was life changing. It was simple to read but the message it brought was not simple at all. If i had one book to read for the rest of my life it would be this one. As i read it i felt like charlie was my best friend someone i could easily connect to. This is one of my favorite books of all time!
Sydney C. reviewed The Perks of Being a Wallflower on
Starting this book, I didn't really have any idea what it would be like. However, even from the first couple pages I was hooked. The book is set in 1991 and follows a boy named Charlie. He's an awkward boy who is trying his hardest to figure out where he belongs in this world. This book is amazing, I had to finish it the day I started, I couldn't put it down. Even my brother who HATES reading enjoyed this book. It is a book that is really worth reading. It'll change your out look on a lot of things.
This is a unique look at the problems teenagers today face. It's told through a series of letters to an anonymous recipient. Charlie is trying to find his place in high school and is swept into a world of drugs, drinking, sex and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. This isn't a light teen read, it deals with heavy issues. Charlie seems to face every teenage problem imaginable, yet the story remains believable.
This was a beautiful book. I literally read it in one sitting. I bought it a long time ago, but I finally decided to read it today. So, I pulled it out of my bookshelf this afternoon and started reading, and I just couldn't stop. The narrator's voice is a bit like Holden Caulfield, only more innocent, kind, caring, and naïve, and there is a raw, open quality to the story-telling that reminds me of "Go Ask Alice", only the story is lighter and less downward-spirally. Charlie's transformation from the shy loner into the sweet and accepted wallflower is simply a gorgeous journey that I loved experiencing with him.
Furthermore, the complex relationships between the characters in the novel are fascinating. I love the interpersonal dynamics between Charlie and Sam, Sam and Patrick, Patrick and Brad, Patrick and Charlie, Charlie and Mary Elizabeth, Mary Elizabeth and Sam.... Not to mention the familial relationships between Charlie and each member of his family, even the ones that don't play huge parts in the novel, such as his grandfather.
Finally, the shocking revelation behind Charlie's relationship with his Aunt Helen... well, that adds a whole different level to the story that takes it above and beyond a simple coming-of-age story.
It is definitely a story worth adding to my 'favorites' shelf.
Nervous about entering high school, 15-year-old Charlie begins writing to a stranger, addressed as "friend." He writes about everything: school, family, friends. There is a lot of tension between him, his older brother, and his older sister. At school, Charlie does very well in English, where his teacher gives him extra books to read and write about.
However, Charlie also has difficult connecting with and understanding people and making friends. He manages to befriend a great group of seniors who help him gain experience as well as realize that, while there may be many perks to living at the fringes of life, sometimes you have to participate, have to confront yourself in order to move on and grow.
I've always heard of this being a must-read for all teenagers. I guess that makes sense--but read it before it's too late and doesn't appeal to you anymore. Charlie is quite an annoying and pathetic character that I could not really sympathize with, except at the end.
The author describes a year in Charlie's life through letters that he writes to an unknown person. It's delightfully well done. Charlie is bright and articulate, a high school freshman with the emotions of his age and an understanding that reflects his age level. Like so many others, I did enjoy this read. However, as I lay the book aside, I asked myself how any one boy could experience all the events that are chronicled in the letters within a year.
Not at all what I had expected it was going to be. This is decidedly not a young adult novel, do not go into it thinking this way. There are very adult things happening in this book. If your teenager wants to read the book, you need to read this first and discuss it with them after.
This book is, at times, a heart wrenching novel. I found myself wanting to cry in several parts of the book.
It is true, this is a coming of age novel. It will also open your eyes if you are a disillusioned non-participating parent.
I absolutely loved this book. The first letter was dated on what was my actual 13th birthday so I found the entire book extremely relatable since I was around the same age during the same time period. Even though I'm 35 now, Charlie's experiences and feelings felt genuine and brought all my memories from that time in my life rushing back. I especially liked how music and mixed tapes played into the story because my life is like that as well. I remember how powerful those emotions were at that age. I highly recommend this for anyone who likes an emotional read and especially for those who were teenagers in the 90's.
The book follows a character named Charlie who has just started high school, he writes letters to someone he refers to as friend through the book (the book it like his journal). Charlie suffers from social anxiety, this is a big part of Charlie's story. Throughout the book he talks about his new friends that he has made and things that happen.
I loved this book and honestly thinks it's one of the best I have read. It is a VERY quick read. I think everyone should read this book.
So after reading this book, I am glad I held off on watching he film adaptation because I wanted to read the book first. This was a smart choice on my part, because although I have still yet to see the film, I just don't know if the film will hold up to the book. Not to say that the movie will be bad, but I just don't think it will be as good.
I will explain as much as possible without spoiling the book.
Some people might find the fact that the entire story took place in a series of letters from Charlie to a friend annoying, but I found it very interesting. This story was a...well I can't say roller coaster, because while it had ups and downs, it wasn't the type of ups and downs you would experience in a roller coaster type novel. This was more of a journey with dips and bumps. It was somewhat coming-of-age, but more so a journey in finding the truth and becoming whole. Figuring out who you are and who you want to be. It was about just being.
Charlie was this wonderfully innocent and naive character that you just routed for. You wanted to see him happy; you wanted to hug him most of the time. And on the rare occasion you wanted to shake him and ask how it was that he didn't know these things. But in truth, there are a lot of people like Charlie who live in their own world, and just don't know things that their peers know, things that one would assume someone of their age and intelligence should know. But there were so many other things that he did know that were really important to his character.
I feel like I related to Charlie in so many ways, but in other ways I was just like everyone else, thinking, "You should know this!" or "You should act this way."
The end of the book was surprising and really unexpected, but not in a bad way. I really enjoyed the journey of Charlie, so much so that I only put the book down because I started reading it late and I was just too tired to finish.
I think anyone could relate to this book in some way or another. It's a really touching, quirky, sometimes heart-wrenching, down-to-earth and yet fantastic story. I really think the structure/style and perspective of the narrator are what make this book unique and amazing.
I have had this book on my to be read pile forever. This ended up being a quick and fun read. This is one of those quirky young adult contemporary fiction coming of age stories. I think it would appeal to fans of John Green or David Levithan.
Charlie is starting the year as a Freshman. This book is a series of letters to a mysterious someone about his thoughts and life during that year. Charlie is a smart kid, hes not a geek and he can be tough when the situation warrants it. However, he doesnt have a ton of friends either and is always kind of on the outskirts. This is a book about his navigating a tough time in life...that of the high school freshman.
Parts of this book are laugh out loud funny, while other are heart warming or touching. The book reminds a lot of other contemporary young adult coming of age stories out there, think Paper Towns by John Green.
Charlie is a complex and interesting character. He is super smart but also has some mental and emotional issues hes struggling with. Watching him deal with his family and friends at high school was very entertaining.
There are some things that are a bit ambiguous throughout. We never find out exactly what type of mental issues Charlie has; just that hes been in and out of therapy and occasional hospitalization. The ending is pretty open as well; this is just a look into Charlies life.
There is some more mature content in here, including some drug use, language and discussion of sex (including date rape and girls forced to commit unwilling sex acts while under the influence). I will say its a lot more mature content then I dealt with in high school, but I may have been somewhat sheltered. I could understand why people might find it offensive, but its all a valid part of the story.
Overall I enjoyed the book. Its a fun read and a good look at a kid struggling with growing up and fitting in in high school. Its one of those book I will probably keep around for my son to read when he hits that age. I enjoyed the book and thought it was an interesting lesson in growing up and accepting who you are.
Very overrated. This can in no way be compared to The Catcher In The Rye. I'm absolutely shocked that it has been to be honest. It's not a total waste of time and it's a quick read but it's not written as well as it could have been and the author definitely tried too hard for the wrong things. Could have been way better.