The perks of being a wallflower

Front Cover
Pocket Books, Feb 1, 1999 - Fiction - 213 pages
84 Reviews
Standing on the fringes of life...

offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

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And let me just say that the ending...was just perfect. - Goodreads
I'm sort of confused and unsatisfied by the plot. - Goodreads
Writing to his secret friend is also very intriguing. - Goodreads
As for the plot, there wasnt really one. - Goodreads
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Retrospective and Heart-warming..!
You know sometimes you read something that hits you hard, makes you think about everything around you and compels you to change yourself. ‘The Perks of being a
Wallflower’ is just that book. It is a coming-of-age story of a teenager Charlie. Charlie has a family that is as normal as anyone else’s. He is a quiet child who is not-so-popular in school. He is smart and sensitive. He is a wallflower.
Charlie writes letters to an anonymous person throughout the book through which we understand the story of his life. These letters make the story very personal and make the readers feel like they are micro scoping into the protagonist’s head.
Through the process of his writing the letters and experiencing life, many other things about his life come to light. He has gone through several problems since childhood but he never complains. In this book, the author has hinted the readers to appreciate many other books as well, that relate to Charlie’s situations as the story moves on. The story progresses with Charlie finding happiness and comfort in his new friends, Sam and Patrick. These two characters are so lively that every reader is bound to fall in love with them. They go through all the experiences that normal teenagers go through. The difference in this book is that it does not have a cliched happy ending. Yet, there is something satisfying about how Charlie ends it. He is satisfied, he is happy after everything that he has suffered. He still believes in humanity. He still believes in himself. He believes in purity.
Even after the book ends, Charlie’s character lives with us. It forces us to comprehend Life. It forces us to retrospect everything we have seen. It changes us. This book is about sadness, friendship, drugs and alcohol, sex, love and family. But most of all, it is about us. It is about all of us and about the good in all of us, it is about optimism. It is a strong and well written coming-of-age story that will remain with you forever.
It makes us believe - “We are Infinite”.

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

User Review  - Kat Stark - Goodreads

Wow, I mean just wow. I am blown away by this novel. Chbosky captured all of these moments, through the eyes of Charlie, that everyone can relate to as a teenager. Yes, there are a lot of issues in ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Stephen Chbosky grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Southern California's Filmic Writing Program. His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win Best Narrative Feature honors at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. He is the recipient of the Abraham Polonsky Screenwriting Award for his screenplay Everything Divided as well as a participant in the Sundance Institute's filmmakers' lab for his current project, Fingernails and Smooth Skin. Chbosky lives in New York.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is his first novel.