The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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MTV Books, Feb 1, 1999 - Fiction - 224 pages
92 Reviews
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 #1 New York Times best seller for more than a year, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (2000) and Best Book for Reluctant Readers (2000), 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.

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User Review  - jenn88 - LibraryThing

At first, Charlie is left to go through high school alone. He writes letters about his friends, family, and feelings. Eventually he learns to live his life instead of trying to run from it. Read full review

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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”.
 

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About the author (1999)

Stephen Chbosky wrote and directed the feature film adaptation of his award-winning novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He has worked in film and television, on projects including the film version of the smash-hit musical Rent; the TV show Jericho; and others. He also edited Pieces, a collection of short stories for Pocket Books. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chbosky graduated from the University of Southern California’s Filmic Writing Program. His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenChbosky.

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