Review for The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

TITLE: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
AUTHOR: Stephen Chbosky
PUBLICATION DATE: February 1, 1999
PUBLISHER: MTV Books/Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 213 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

I think I made a mistake. Right after I finished this, I was too busy to write the review and then I ended up watching the movie over the weekend, so obviously I want to talk about that but this is supposed to be a book review, not a movie review. As always, I’ll endeavor to do my best. Here goes nothing.

I don’t know exactly what I was looking for when I started this. I think all I really knew is that it had an interesting name and that there was a movie adaptation coming out for it starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson. I think I was expecting an amusing coming of age story with a decent amount of angst. I got so much more than that. It reminded me a bit of exactly how I felt when I started It s Kind Of A Funny Story. It starts off with simple enough issues and delves much deeper than I thought it would.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a story about Charlie, who is nervous about starting high school because he has never had many friends and high school seems particularly cruel. Upon entering high school, he gets teased and tortured and only makes one friend, his advanced English teacher. Then he meets Patrick and Sam. They are both seniors but they take pity on him and invite him into their circle and it makes his freshmen year a very memorable one.

Charlie is a very complex character. He is so very intelligent and reads all the time, but can’t help but be affected by his best friends suicide last year and his favorite aunts death when he was little. Because of these issues, he seems to go in and out of depression, but he doesn’t talk to anyone about it because he’s parents are always saying they shouldn’t complain because there are tons of other people out there who have it much worse, so he feels like he doesn’t have the right to complain. He just tries to deal with it himself and that works well until he fucks up with Patrick and Sam and is shunned from the group for a month or so.

I think it is a great novel. It’s a novel that takes you to unexpected depths and leaves you with an undeniable sense of hope. What more could you ask for?

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