Read the cult-favorite coming-of-age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.
The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
A years-long #1 New York Times bestseller, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and Best Book for Reluctant Readers, and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.
How is this a coming of age novel?!
The book starts with a school Principal announcing that a teenager has killed himself. Later on, the main character accidentally walks in on his sister having sex. Then we find out that she's pregnant, and she is going to get an abortion. Also, in the book there is a rape scene, and the main character describes it as it happens. The book is full of foul language. The characters discuss drugs and drinking. The cover has a quote from USA Today describing it as a "coming of age novel." I am fifteen and don't think having an abortion should be considered a normal coming of age activity. It should be discussed and talked about as a problem. This book makes it seem that rape and abortion are normal when they shouldn't be! It's repulsive and depressing.
The worst "great book" I've read in a very long time
First of all, I respect any opinion that this is a great book. But I must say I am confounded by the thousands of five-star reviews, because not only do I not see that, but I actively, aggressively disliked "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," which would have been more aptly titled "The Perks of Being Weird and Weepy."I was not put off or bothered by the sex, drinking, drugs, language or some of the other things which seemed to have burned some readers' eyes (although I will add that anyone who really believes these are not elements regularly encountered in the life of the average high school student has probably not been to high school since the days of one-room schoolhouses). My criticisms mostly have to do with the characterizations, almost exclusively centered on our main character and narrator, Charlie.Charlie is a character who had a lot of possibilities, all mostly missed. He waffles between well-beyond-high-school profundity and confounding childishness. One minute he's pondering the meaning of life (with some real intuitiveness, sometimes) and the next he's wrapped up in some kind of nauseatingly twee description of something ("Do you know what a Secret Santa is?") And who, pray, is the "friend" on the other end of these letter entries? This "friend" whose persona would seem to have had enough rotations around the sun to know about sex, LSD, pot, heroin, etc., but has never heard of a Secret Santa or masturbation? Is this like the "Kitty" of Anne Frank's diary, or is this a real person? We never know, and the "Dear Friend" salutations and the "Love Always" closings quickly become tiresome, when at the outset the diary/letter approach seemed like a cool idea.As other reviewers have asked, *is* Charlie meant to have some intellectual disability, or isn't he? In reading, it almost made me angry that I wasn't given enough evidence to form a conclusion, because that may or may not have formed my conclusions of the character -- or at the very least made me more forgiving of the way this character is drawn.Worst of all, the crying! Charlie tells us "I started crying" so many times I lost count. The crying aside (if you can put it aside -- I really can't), it is impossible to tell whether the rudimentary descriptions of Charlie's feelings are devices on the part of the author, or are just egregious examples of a breaking with "show, don't tell." ("I wanted to be happy it was my birthday, but I felt upset." "...but I felt sad." "I was getting really upset.") It is simply not believable that the same character who is capable of a critical reading of "The Fountainhead" describes himself and his feelings as if he had just made a guest appearance on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." The result of all this messiness is a character that I not only didn't understand or sympathize with, but aggressively loathed.It is also simply not believable that the group of "cool fringe kids," none of whom has a lot going for them either, depth-wise, would have the time of day for this sappy weirdo. By the time it was finally revealed that Charlie's past held a potential explanation for some of his feelings and behavior, I simply didn't care. I haven't disliked a central character this much in a long time, but the problem is I don't think the author intended him to be unlikable.So, "Dear Friend," to each his own, but it's not my own!
My 13 year old bought this supposed "coming of age" book on Amazon. When it arrived I noticed it was lauded by the New York Times and was from MTV. Given the usual type of stuff that comes out of these two I thought I better have a look in it first. Topics include sex, homosexuality, abortion, perversions involving food, perversions involving animals, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and more. That's what I found by casually leafing through a few pages. Who knows what else is in there. If you are associating "coming of age" with some Judy Bloom book you read back in 8th grade... think again. Nobody under 18 should be reading this.
This book was assigned summer reading for my daughter’s rising 10th grade class. When I started to hear talk from other parents that it was questionable in nature, I decided to read it for myself because I thought surely it was being taken out of context or that parents were overreacting without actually reading the book for themselves. I am absolutely MORTIFIED that any teacher (which I am one!) would EVER assign this book to students. In Part One alone, there are multiple vivid descriptions of teenagers having sex. I’m not living in a fantasy world about what some teenagers do, but reading this kind of trash is only toxic to kids who desperately are searching for identity and purpose in this harsh world. I am so incredibly disappointed and saddened. I LOVE books. I TEACH English. With so many wonderful options of books our kids could be reading, DO NOT BUY THIS ONE.
Silently highlights sexual crimes
I did not love this book and do not understand its popularity. I think my biggest concern that I cannot seem to get over the fact that this kid has been abused and then witnesses another abuse without intervening. Maybe the draw is for those who have been through similar situations. I just can't relate. It also disturbs me that Charlie seems to send such personal information to what appears to be a complete stranger. I am glad that he found a friend in his teacher, who suggested he read many books--several of which I would now also like to read.That being said, I see no "perks" to "being a wallflower" at all. The kid is abused and allows/watches things happen to himself and others. I think the only attraction to this book must be to be a voyeur into a messed-up teenage boy's life.The young man who recommended I read this book had a similar life, so I can understand why he related and loved it so much. My heart goes out to him and the author, who probably also lived through a similar situation.
I'm not sure there were too many perks.
It's not always easy being a teenager. I get that. It's also not easy being a reader who's left thinking "So what was all the fuss about?" when they finish a book that felt much too long, said too little, and left me with a general sense that there were too many unanswered questions but they weren't questions I could really be bothered to try to figure out.Epistolary novels are not unusual; it's a well worn trope for a soul-revealing look at life. But WHO is Charlie supposed to be writing to? I was waiting for a big reveal, expecting a 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' type shocker where we'd find out that there either was no 'friend' or that the friend was his dead aunt, a past abuser, his psychiatrist or just anybody who actually had a part in the book. He refers to a psychologist but never clarifies WHY he sees one, hints at anger management issues and then turns into an avenging ninja when his friend is attacked. It's all just a bit of a mess. Throw in just about everything that could happen to a group of teens - drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, suicide......... - it's like the author had a check-list of big issues to shoe-horn into the story. Where was anorexia and bulimia? I think I missed those but the rest of the angst-bag was emptied out and thrown around.It's not all bad. I enjoyed the friendship between Charlie, Sam and Patrick but even that had its dysfunctional elements. I enjoyed being reminded of the joy of the mixed tape - what DO teens do these days? Swap 'play lists'? I enjoyed some of the Rocky Horror Show reminders - but there was TOO much. And I liked the perspective of the child-like innocent observing and reporting.I can see that arty teens will LOVE this book - just as generations before them loved 'Catcher in the Rye' but from what I recall, not that much actually happened in that either. Reviewers suggest the film may make more sense than the book. I'm really not sure that I can be bothered.
I didn’t hate it, but I just didn’t feel it was for me
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”I’ve seen nothing but good things about this book but never given it a try. The internet is full of quotes from the story and I think you’d be hard pushed to find someone who’s never at least heard of the title (this book has more than 1 million ratings on Goodreads and the film was well reviewed too).Charlie is a socially awkward freshman, writing letters to an unnamed friend. He tells his friend absolutely everything, from his homework assignments to his first erection and so much more.Image result for the perks of being a wallflowerSource: TumblrThis is a short book, but it is packed with some difficult and heavy subjects including suicide, domestic abuse, drug use, rape and abortion.I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had wanted to, and I found the writing style and structure to be somewhat tiring. Charlie writes with innocence and the author has chosen his sentence structure and grammar to represent this. I understand the technique and have really enjoyed other books like this in the past, but on top of those tricky subjects, this didn’t make for an easy or enjoyable read.“I don’t think that there is a favorite kid in our family. There are three of us and I am the youngest. My brother is the oldest. He is a very good football player and likes his car."Another point I’m somewhat frightened to admit to you all is that I didn’t feel sad and I wasn’t really affected by this book in any way. Am I too cold-hearted? Probably! 🙈I felt the story was a little too melodramatic for my tastes, but I certainly understand why people love it. I also give it huge credit for addressing these topics, especially those so increasingly faced by teenagers today. I think that if I had read this when I was younger, I’d probably have enjoyed it a lot more but at this point in my life, it wasn’t for me.Overall rating: Contrary to popular opinion, I didn’t love “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and the writing style was most responsible for this. I didn’t hate it, but I just didn’t feel it was for me – 2 stars.
The Wallflower is dead, long live the Catcher in the Rye...
Read April 2019.I struggled to get excited about this book. We know Charlie is a wallflower and was traumatised earlier in his life by what happened with Aunt Helen, and that he is coming of age in the early 1990's. Yet despite all this it didn't quite add up for me.We spend a year with Charlie and all these events happen to him, yet not until the very end did he try and alter his behaviour or try and steer in a slightly different direction. It just seemed to be more of the same. I know when I was young and impressionable and wanted to please people I tried to act differently to fit in. Where as Charlie was very emotional, not afraid who saw him being emotional, and constant in his thoughts and actions.I think I tired of the letter style too, as it became repetitive after a while. I hoped the recipient would be revealed at some point but frustratingly it never was. Here's my theories:Surely nobody writes this many letters! I'd say Charlie was closest to Sam (love interest), then Patrick (friend), then Bill (teacher friend) - all above his family. He never referred to talking about these letters with any of his friends or family. So I was thinking maybe he was writing them to himself, but he did post them, and I'm sure he would have mentioned his family becoming suspicious at the amount of letters. There is chance he was using an alias so it wasn't Charlie at all, just another member of the group of friends? But that still doesn't answer who the recipient was. Whoever it was I also feel they would have made some effort to contact Charlie, or contact the polic e to block his mail, but neither happened!I appreciate this book is aimed at young adult, and as a 40 something not aimed at me. But I hasten to add, I'm a massive, massive fan of Catcher in the Rye which is a similar style and age group, yet far superior in my opinion. I found 'Catcher' more genuine, witty and in a better writing style and format.
Absolutely loved this book, it's one that stays with you. Kudos for having a male protagonist struggling with MH issues as well, as this genre is heavily female-focussed and it's good to remember that both genders can suffer from this equally.SPOILER/TW BELOW.......The book is considerably more explicit than the more well known film adaptation. There are explicit scenes of rape and it deals heavily with the consequences of childhood sexual abuse. It doesn't take away from the impact of the book, but I was a little blindsided as I hadn't realised that it would be different from the movie. I would exercise caution giving this to a younger reader, as it appears suitable for teens but some of this content might not be appropriate depending on the person.
O livro chegou em perfeito estado, muito bem embalado e super rápido. Não tenho muito oq falar sobre a história em si, já que esse é um dos meus livros favoritos e eu estava apenas querendo a versão em inglês, só posso dizer que o inglês dele não é tão difícil de entender para um iniciante(?).