The Perks of Being A Wallflower

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Book - 2012
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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. Also 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.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : MTV Books/Gallery Books, 2012, c1999
Edition: MTV BooksGallery Books trade pbk. ed. --
ISBN: 9781451696196
Characteristics: 213 p


From Library Staff

Reason: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

From the critics

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Dec 05, 2017

The Breakfast Club meets Sixteen Candles meets Stand by Me meets St. Elmo's Fire meets....

(It's your basic run-of-the-mill coming of age teen genre (yes, I realize only one of the above is an actual printed story) written in the form of letters from Charlie (the main character) to an anonymous recipient. It's really not THAT BAD, and it is much better than the movie)

Aug 03, 2017

In a series of written letters, a young freshman named Charlie writes his anonymous 'friend' of his life in high school. There are tears, teenage troubles, newfound friends, and self-discovery. There's a reason this book is a classic. Of all the books I've ever read, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the saddest thing I've ever read (which is a good thing, I assure you). Charlie's character can resonate with any teenager willing to pick up this book. The writing style is completely unique. Chbosky manages to explore mature themes that come with being a teenager in a way that doesn't sound like a lecture or an adult desperately trying to be relatable. Though I'll be honest, you better prepare yourself before reading this book. Get a box of tissues, a blanket, a cup of tea. You're also going to need hours upon hours of time. Not to actually read the book, but to deal with finishing it. The first time I finished this book, I sat for at least an hour and a half crying my eyes out. Five out of five stars.
- @Spectacles of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This book is really meaningful and cute, and I think it speaks to a lot of teens especially since the main character is such an anti-social wallflower. Charlie's story of coming out of his shell is very eye-opening and helps relate to tons of students and teens. The characters are very relatable and loveable, and, most importantly, super realistic. They are only human and are expressed as such; Mr. Chbosky did an an amazing job reaching out to teens in this book. I love it, I have a copy of my own.
- @SecretBlossom of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

The Perks of Being A Wallflower is a great book that teens will certainly enjoy. The main character, Charlie, is a shy high school boy who describes his life through a series of letters to a friend of his who remains unnamed. Charlie’s meaningful story and the events that surround him captures the attention of the reader and even helps them relate certain aspects to their own lives. This novel has become an award-winning film, although I do recommend that you read the book first. Rating 4/5 stars.
- @reginaphalange of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Jul 25, 2017

This will always stand in my top 10 all time favorite books. A unique perspective of high school life is achieved through Charlie's eyes. If you are a sucker for good quotes, this holds many. So much knowledge and emotion is packed into a mere 224 pages (give or take). The Perks of Being a Wallflower will always stand as a given in my personal collection and is guaranteed to be read many times in years to come.

Jul 20, 2017

Amazing read. Something I would suggest to anyone. I especially liked the character Aunt Helen who at the same time fascinated me and surprised me.

May 22, 2017

Teenage coming of age novel about a boy and the older kids around him who teach him the facts of life told by the boys letters written to no one in particular similar to journal. Nice read. Somehow it was on my list of thrillers; I decided to read it anyway.

Feb 09, 2017

This bittersweet story stars Charlie as he is writing letters to someone we never meet. The letters are all about his first year in high school and about his attempts to take a teacher's advice and "participate" rather than just be an observer.

Charlie is such a sweet boy and you can't help but root for him in this coming of age story. Would only recommend for older teenagers as there are many sexual situations throughout the story.

Feb 02, 2017

One of my favourite books as a teenager, I feel this book captures the feeling of adolescence in a beautiful and emotionally raw way. It's never dry. It's loaded with pop culture references. It's not about pretty or perfect people. It's about the reality of being a teen in a sometimes topsy-turvy world. Told from the perspective of a loner teenage boy who starts to find some new friends in high school, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER doesn't shy away from the harsh topics but rather shows them through the eyes of a rather innocent adolescent who can't make heads nor tails of what's happening to him and around him. This point of view is non-judgmental, leaving you to have your own views and navigate through the story yourself. (And, for viewers of the movie, know that the author of the book directed the film. Stephen Chbosky is truly talented and devoted to this story being told right.) Personally I loved every bit of it. I've recommended it to countless others and will continue to do so.

JCLRitaG Jan 19, 2017

How did I miss this for nearly 20 years? Guess I missed the entire culture of the 80's as I was having children. Great story! ...strikingly similar to high school in the 60's.

Dec 11, 2016

I didn't love this like I wanted to love this. It felt so cliche. Perhaps because it's a bit of an older title and it took me so long to finally read this, I've read too many other stories that are fairly similar. Perhaps I should consider this more of a groundbreaking book because it probably was when it first came out. But alas, I read this 17 years too late and for that, I missed out on thinking this book was incredible. Regardless, it's still a decent book and I can appreciate it for what it is...and I'll most likely watch the music because Emma Watson, amiright?

Dec 08, 2016

I really enjoyed this book, and can't wait to watch the movie to see if it follows the story.

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Age Suitability

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sarahbru17 Aug 03, 2017

sarahbru17 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 25, 2017

Emmapaw257 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Apr 19, 2017

JaceToews thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

RobertELPL Mar 04, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Feb 27, 2017

fadisi thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Aug 27, 2016

awebster92 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

brinda2003 Jul 23, 2016

brinda2003 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 28, 2016

ilovecats2003 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 06, 2016

Bookcat18 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 25, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Add a Quote

Jul 25, 2017

"Even if we don't have the power to choose where we came from, we can still choose where we go from there."

Aug 18, 2015

"So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them."

Aug 18, 2015

"She was sad, though. But it was a hopeful kind of sad. The kind of sad that just takes time."

Aug 18, 2015

"I just want you to know that you're very special... and the only reason I'm telling you is that I don't know if anyone else ever has."

Jul 08, 2015

So, if this does end up being my last letter, please believe that things are good with me, and even when they're not, they will be soon enough.
And I will believe the same about you.
Charlie (pg.213)

thisgrrlreads Nov 19, 2013

“Dear friend, I do not like high school. The cafeteria is called the ‘Nutrition Center,’ which is strange.” (page 6)

Elizabeth Neilson
Aug 09, 2013

"In that moment we were infinite"

Aug 02, 2013

"We accept the love we think we deserve"

DebAK Jul 14, 2013

[…] she grabbed his penis with her hands and started moving it. […] the boy pushed the girl's head down, and she started to kiss his penis. [...] she stopped crying because he put his penis in her mouth. [...]

DebAK Jul 14, 2013

And Patrick made this fake coupon advertising a free “bl*w job” for anyone who buys a Smiley cookie at the Big Boy.

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Add Notices

sarahbru17 Aug 03, 2017

Other: Drugs.

sarahbru17 Aug 03, 2017

Sexual Content: Masturbation and sensual touching.

Jul 25, 2017

Sexual Content: There is reference and mention of sexual acts as well as sexual abuse though none of it is graphic, it is all implicit.

Jul 25, 2017

Violence: Characters are said to be/have been in abusive relationships as well as getting in fights.

Jun 18, 2014

Sexual Content: Teens get initimate fairly frequently.

Jun 18, 2014

Violence: Teens get into fights multiple times.

Jun 18, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There is a rape scene.

BookWormChelly Jul 08, 2013

Sexual Content: oral sex.

ecrl Feb 02, 2013

Sexual Content: Oral sex among teens!

bookgeek101 Dec 26, 2012

Other: Patrick is gay.

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Add a Summary

janellejordan Jul 12, 2015

goes on a journey to show how childhood can really effect a person and how friends can get someone out of any situation.

Jul 08, 2015

Charlie has just lost his best friend and is now starting high school with no friends. Enter Sam and Patrick as they integrate Charlie into their friend group and take him on wild adventures. Follow Charlie as he starts to heal and have the best experiences of his life while still figuring out how he feels

Aug 02, 2013

Written in the format of a diary we are guided through Charlie's freshman year of high school. Where he experiences his first love and first taste of partying and his mission of finding him self.

destiny1218 Jul 09, 2013

a wonderful coming of age book that tells the tale of a young boy experiencing high school and finding himself along with a few new friends.

BookWormChelly Jul 08, 2013

A young man named Charlie who is writing his life through letters to an anonymous person of his high school experience.

Jun 11, 2013

a teenage freshman tells us his first year of high school through letters

Oct 23, 2012

After learning of the suicide of another student, "Charlie" writes letters to ??? and tells us about his life as a lonely HS freshman. Sadness, loss and past mental health issues. He makes friends, learns about smoking cigarettes, spliffs, and LSD. Drinks and eats fast food. He experiments with girls and experiences kissing one boy and always loves Sam(antha), his good friend. He reads awesome books and tells us about them and has ups and downs with friends.

Saulia Jul 06, 2012

Charlie, the main character, writes letters to an unnamed person, and this is how his story is told. It talks about how he had trouble fitting in, until he met Sam - whom he fell in love with, and Patrick. These two become his best friends, and also his English teacher provides him with a list of books to read, making him feel more accepted.

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 07, 2012

this talks bout how a boy named chrlie is introduced of the world of drugs and luv and goes with his friends for help!!!!!!!

Apr 20, 2010

A young boy confides in you as a reader anonymously sharing his life through a series of letters. He is trying to find his place in the world.

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