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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

4.5/5 (1,890 Bewertungen)
245 Seiten
3 Stunden
Jun 29, 2010

Anmerkung des Herausgebers

Beyond a cult classic…

Quiet implications of deep distress and profound happiness litter this epistolary novel, penned by outsider Charlie, who makes inroads with various cliques to move past cliches. A modernized “The Catcher in the Rye.”


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.
Jun 29, 2010

Über den Autor

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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The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

on the perks of being a wallflower . . .

A quick sensation after it was published, earning cult status and a place on many school reading lists.

—The New York Times

"A coming-of-age tale in the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace. . . . [Chbosky’s] poignant reflections on life, love and friendship are often inspirational and always beautifully written."

—USA Today

Charlie is such a completely good, pure human being (the way we were supposed to come off the production line) that you wonder how he sprang from the imagination of an ordinary adult ­author. . . . Again and again throughout the book he exhibits that pure wisdom we all like to read about and witness. And Stephen Chbosky doesn’t let us down. . . . In this culture where adolescence is a dirty word, I hope nothing bad ever happens to this kid.

—Los Angeles Times

Palpably real. . . . Charlie develops from an observant wallflower into his own man of action. . . . This report on his life will engage teen readers for years to come.

—School Library Journal, starred review

Compelling. . . . Charlie is a likeable kid whose humor-laced trials and tribulations will please both adults and teens.


Like Holden [Caulfield], Charlie oozes sincerity.

—Kirkus Reviews

Depth and gravity . . . bump[s] it. . . . into the cannon of high school classics.


[C]ould be a memo about the importance of inclusiveness.

Washington Post

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a timeless story for every young person who needs to understand that they are not alone. A bright light in what can be a dark time. And just for the record, I saw the movie adaptation four times. Read the book first. You’ll never forget it."

—Judy Blume

"Once in a while, a novel comes along that becomes a generational touchstone. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those books, a story so effortlessly told, with characters so truthfully rendered, you can forget just how beautiful the writing actually is, so I’m here to remind you: Chbosky is not just a great storyteller, he’s a master of his craft."

—R. J. Palacio, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wonder

"Twenty years after its initial publication, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is somehow more resonant, more relevant, than ever. This is the mark not just of a good book, but a classic one."

—Gayle Forman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay and I Have Lost My Way


title page

For my family then

For my family now

For Liz, Maccie, and Theo Chbosky



I just wanted to say about all those listed that there would be no book without them, and I thank them with all of my heart.

Greer Kessel Hendricks

Heather Neely

Lea, Fred, and Stacy Chbosky

Robbie Thompson

Christopher McQuarrie

Margaret Mehring

Stewart Stern

Kate Degenhart

Mark McClain Wilson

David Wilcox

Kate Ward

Tim Perell

Jack Horner

Eduardo Braniff

And finally…

Dr. Earl Reum for writing a beautiful poem

and Patrick Comeaux for remembering it wrong when he was 14.

part 1

August 25, 1991

Dear friend,

I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don’t try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don’t want you to do that. I will call people by different names or generic names because I don’t want you to find me. I didn’t enclose a return address for the same reason. I mean nothing bad by this. Honest.

I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have. I need to know that these people exist.

I think you of all people would understand that because I think you of all people are alive and appreciate what that means. At least I hope you do because other people look to you for strength and friendship and it’s that simple. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.

I try to think of my family as a reason for me being this way, especially after my friend Michael stopped going to school one day last spring and we heard Mr. Vaughn’s voice on the loudspeaker.

Boys and girls, I regret to inform you that one of our students has passed on. We will hold a memorial service for Michael Dobson during assembly this Friday.

I don’t know how news travels around school and why it is very often right. Maybe it was in the lunchroom. It’s hard to remember. But Dave with the awkward glasses told us that Michael killed himself. His mom played bridge with one of Michael’s neighbors and they heard the gunshot.

I don’t really remember much of what happened after that except that my older brother came to Mr. Vaughn’s office in my middle school and told me to stop crying. Then, he put his arm on my shoulder and told me to get it out of my system before Dad came home. We then went to eat french fries at McDonald’s and he taught me how to play pinball. He even made a joke that because of me he got to skip an afternoon of school and asked me if I wanted to help him work on his Camaro. I guess I was pretty messy because he never let me work on his Camaro before.

At the guidance counselor sessions, they asked the few of us who actually liked Michael to say a few words. I think they were afraid that some of us would try to kill ourselves or something because they looked very tense and one of them kept touching his beard.

Bridget who is crazy said that sometimes she thought about suicide when commercials come on during TV. She was sincere and this puzzled the guidance counselors. Carl who is nice to everyone said that he felt very sad, but could never kill himself because it is a sin.

This one guidance counselor went through the whole group and finally came to me.

What do you think, Charlie?

What was so strange about this was the fact that I had never met this man because he was a specialist and he knew my name even though I wasn’t wearing a name tag like they do in open house.

Well, I think that Michael was a nice guy and I don’t understand why he did it. As much as I feel sad, I think that not knowing is what really bothers me.

I just reread that and it doesn’t sound like how I talk. Especially in that office because I was crying still. I never did stop crying.

The counselor said that he suspected that Michael had problems at home and didn’t feel like he had anyone to talk to. That’s maybe why he felt all alone and killed himself.

Then, I started screaming at the guidance counselor that Michael could have talked to me. And I started crying even harder. He tried to calm me down by saying that he meant an adult like a teacher or a guidance counselor. But it didn’t work and eventually my brother came by the middle school in his Camaro to pick me up.

For the rest of the school year, the teachers treated me different and gave me better grades even though I didn’t get any smarter. To tell you the truth, I think I made them all nervous.

Michael’s funeral was strange because his father didn’t cry. And three months later he left Michael’s mom. At least according to Dave at lunchtime. I think about it sometimes. I wonder what went on in Michael’s house around dinner and TV shows. Michael never left a note or at least his parents didn’t let anyone see it. Maybe it was problems at home. I wish I knew. It might make me miss him more clearly. It might have made sad sense.

One thing I do know is that it makes me wonder if I have problems at home but it seems to me that a lot of other people have it a lot worse. Like when my sister’s first boyfriend started going around with another girl and my sister cried for the whole weekend.

My dad said, There are other people who have it a lot worse.

And my mom was quiet. And that was that. A month later, my sister met another boy and started playing happy records again. And my dad kept working. And my mom kept sweeping. And my brother kept fixing his Camaro. That is, until he left for college at the beginning of the summer. He’s playing football for Penn State but he needed the summer to get his grades right to play football.

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. My sister is very pretty and mean to boys and she is in the middle. I get straight A’s now like my sister and that is why they leave me alone.

My mom cries a lot during TV programs. My dad works a lot and is an honest man. My Aunt Helen used to say that my dad was going to be too proud to have a midlife crisis. It took me until around now to understand what she meant by that because he just turned forty and nothing has changed.

My Aunt Helen was my favorite person in the whole world. She was my mom’s sister. She got straight A’s when she was a teenager and she used to give me books to read. My father said that the books were a little too old for me, but I liked them so he just shrugged and let me read.

My Aunt Helen lived with the family for the last few years of her life because something very bad happened to her. Nobody would tell me what happened then even though I always wanted to know. When I was around seven, I stopped asking about it because I kept asking like kids always do and my Aunt Helen started crying very hard.

That’s when my dad slapped me, saying, You’re hurting your aunt Helen’s feelings! I didn’t want to do that, so I stopped. Aunt Helen told my father not to hit me in front of her ever again and my father said this was his house and he would do what he wanted and my mom was quiet and so were my brother and sister.

I don’t remember much more than that because I started crying really hard and after a while my dad had my mom take me to my room. It wasn’t until much later that my mom had a few glasses of white wine and told me what happened to her sister. Some people really do have it a lot worse than I do. They really do.

I should probably go to sleep now. It’s very late. I don’t know why I wrote a lot of this down for you to read. The reason I wrote this letter is because I start high school tomorrow and I am really afraid of going.

Love always,


September 7, 1991

Dear friend,

I do not like high school. The cafeteria is called the Nutrition Center, which is strange. There is this one girl in my advanced english class named Susan. In middle school, Susan was very fun to be around. She liked movies, and her brother Frank made her tapes of this great music that she shared with us. But over the summer she had her braces taken off, and she got a little taller and prettier and grew breasts. Now, she acts a lot dumber in the hallways, especially when boys are around. And I think it’s sad because Susan doesn’t look as happy. To tell you the truth, she doesn’t like to admit she’s in the advanced english class, and she doesn’t like to say hi to me in the hall anymore.

When Susan was at the guidance counselor meeting about Michael, she said that Michael once told her that she was the prettiest girl in the whole world, braces and all. Then, he asked her to go with him, which was a big deal at any school. They call it going out in high school. And they kissed and talked about movies, and she missed him terribly because he was her best friend.

It’s funny, too, because boys and girls normally weren’t best friends around my school. But Michael and Susan were. Kind of like my Aunt Helen and me. I’m sorry. My Aunt Helen and I. That’s one thing I learned this week. That and more consistent punctuation.

I keep quiet most of the time, and only one kid named Sean really seemed to notice me. He waited for me after gym class and said really immature things like how he was going to give me a swirlie, which is where someone sticks your head in the toilet and flushes to make your hair swirl around. He seemed pretty unhappy as well, and I told him so. Then, he got mad and started hitting me, and I just did the things my brother taught me to do. My brother is a very good fighter.

Go for the knees, throat, and eyes.

And I did. And I really hurt Sean. And then I started crying. And my sister had to leave her senior honors class and drive me home. I got called to Mr. Small’s office, but I didn’t get suspended or anything because a kid told Mr. Small the truth about the fight.

Sean started it. It was self-defense.

And it was. I just don’t understand why Sean wanted to hurt me. I didn’t do anything to him. I am very small. That’s true. But I guess Sean didn’t know I could fight. The truth is I could have hurt him a lot worse. And maybe I should have. I thought I might have to if he came after the kid who told Mr. Small the truth, but Sean never did go after him. So, everything was forgotten.

Some kids look at me strange in the hallways because I don’t decorate my locker, and I’m the one who beat up Sean and couldn’t stop crying after he did it. I guess I’m pretty emotional.

It has been very lonely because my sister is busy being the oldest one in our family. My brother is busy being a football player at Penn State. After the training camp, his coach said that he was second string and that when he starts learning the system, he will be first string.

My dad really hopes he will make it to the pros and play for the Steelers. My mom is just glad he gets to go to college for free because my sister doesn’t play football, and there wouldn’t be enough money to send both of them. That’s why she wants me to keep working hard, so I’ll get an academic scholarship.

So, that’s what I’m doing until I meet a friend here. I was hoping that the kid who told the truth could become a friend of mine, but I think he was just being a good guy by telling.

Love always,


September 11, 1991

Dear friend,

I don’t have a lot of time because my advanced english teacher assigned us a book to read, and I like to read books twice. Incidentally, the book is To Kill a Mockingbird. If you haven’t read it, I think you should because it is very interesting. The teacher has assigned us a few chapters at a time, but I do not like to read books like that. I am halfway through the first time.

Anyway, the reason I am writing to you is because I saw my brother on television. I normally don’t like sports too much, but this was a special occasion. My mother started crying, and my father put his arm around her shoulder, and my sister smiled, which is funny because my brother and sister always fight when he’s around.

But my older brother was on television, and so far, it has been the highlight of my two weeks in high school. I miss him terribly, which is strange, because we never really talked much when he was here. We still don’t talk, to be honest.

I would tell you his position, but like I said, I would like to be anonymous to you. I hope you understand.

Love always,


September 16, 1991

Dear friend,

I have finished To Kill a Mockingbird. It is now my favorite book of all time, but then again, I always think that until I read another book. My advanced english teacher asked me to call him Bill when we’re not in class, and he gave me another book to read. He says that I have a great skill at reading and understanding language, and he wanted me to write an essay about To Kill a Mockingbird.

I mentioned this to my mom, and she asked why Bill didn’t recommend that I just take a sophomore or junior english class. And I told her that Bill said that these were basically the same classes with more complicated books, and that it wouldn’t help me. My mom said that she wasn’t sure and would talk to him during open house. Then, she asked me to help her by washing the dishes, which I did.

Honestly, I don’t like doing dishes. I like eating with my fingers and off napkins, but my sister says that doing so is bad for the environment. She is a part of the Earth Day Club here in high school, and that is where she meets the boys. They are all very nice to her, and I don’t really understand why except maybe the fact that she is pretty. She really is mean to these boys.

One boy has it particularly hard. I won’t tell you his name. But I will tell you all about him. He has very nice brown hair, and he wears it long with a ponytail. I think he will regret this when he looks back on his life. He is always making mix tapes for my sister with very specific themes. One was called Autumn Leaves. He included many songs by the Smiths. He even hand-colored the cover. After the movie he rented was over, and he left, my sister gave me the tape.

Do you want this, Charlie?

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Kritische Rezensionen

  • Quiet implications of deep distress and profound happiness litter this epistolary novel, penned by outsider Charlie, who makes inroads with various cliques to move past cliches.

    Scribd Editors
  • Quiet implications of deep distress and profound happiness litter this epistolary novel, penned by outsider Charlie, who makes inroads with various cliques to move past cliches. A modernized "The Catcher in the Rye," Stephen Chbosky's book has been on the ALA's most challenged list twice in the past decade, with complaints against it for "drugs/alcohol/smoking," "homosexuality," "offensive language," being "sexually explicit" and "unsuited for age group," and having a "religious viewpoint."

    Scribd Editors


  • (4/5)
    Better the second time around.
  • (5/5)
    When I first started The Perks of Being a Wallflower I didn't expect to like it. It's about people in high school and the turmoil of emotions they go though, been there done that, I've moved on. I ended up really enjoying the book because even though I have passed that age I can still remember what it was like from reading the book. I felt I was a lot like Charlie, a lurker/observer watching everyone else live life in high school. I felt Charlie was overly naive but I will give the writer the benefit of a doubt and assume it's a different time period and a different person, maybe some kids were that naive. I liked that the book was written in forms of letters, made it more personal, but it also included actual dialogue so it was a good mixture. I felt I had a good sense of Patrick and Sam from the way Charlie described them and his emotions towards them. The character the reader gets to know the best is of course Charlie. I normally don't like when authors describe their characters by listing what kind of music and books he likes, but it works for The Perks of Being a Wallflower because many teenagers feel that is what defines them. I liked how the beginning of the book did wrap into the end, it made it more of a story because before that happened there didn't really seem to be much of a plot other than seeing Charlie's world from his perspective for a year. With that said I wished that played a bigger role because it wasn't a big part of the plot that popped up here and there and "explains" why Charlie was a wallflower who didn't participate. I did feel that the book tried to be a little too deep with a message. Overall a good book and a fast read that I feel like many people will enjoy even if they aren't high school aged because everyone remembers those times, whether or not you were a wallflower back then there is still something relatable to it. I'm surprised this was turn into a movie, I don't know how well it will transfer over but I do look forward to seeing it.
  • (4/5)
    Top three thoughts:
    1. Loved Charlie's narrative voice.
    2. The twist at the end seemed overwrought.
    3. The audiobook narrator sounded like he was about fifty years old, but he nailed the slightly nerdy tone.
  • (5/5)
    This book is simply amazing. The writing is beautiful, and extremely unique. Charlie's thoughts are so innocent, but not naive. More like brutally honest. I can honestly say that this book has changed the way i think, and it made tears stream down my cheeks.
  • (5/5)
    this book is on my all time favourite book list. it just captures you and you can;t stop reading. love it.
  • (4/5)
    A bildungsroman (I can't handle, but will forever remember, this word - thanks Mrs Allen) of high school in the early '90s.So emo, "Just tell me how to be different in a way that makes sense."But perceptive (if not Beatles inspired), "all the books you've read have been read by other people. And all the songs you've loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that's pretty to you is pretty to other people. And you know that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing 'unity.'It's like when you are excited about a girl and you see a couple holding hands, and you feel so happy for them. And other times you see the same couple, and they make you so mad [sad]. And all you want is to always feel happy for them because you know that if you do, then it means that you're happy, too."States the truth eloquently, "let the quiet put things where they are supposed to be." My quiet is nature, restores sanity - temporarily.And ends with hope, "believe that things are good with me, and even when they're not, they will be soon enough."OMG, this playlist. Spotify Charlie's List.
  • (4/5)
    An epistolary novel, which is uncommon these days, this is the story of Charlie and his freshman year in high school. But more than that it is Charlie's experience of beginning to find himself through experiences that are awkward, difficult, yet sometimes rewarding in unexpected ways. The appeal of Charlie's voice makes this a great coming of age story while the twists and turns of the plot add to the reader's enjoyment, This is a thoroughly thought-provoking book for anyone who was once a young teenager negotiating school, family, friends and life in general.
  • (4/5)
    For some reason I've always thought this was written in the 70's or maybe earlier, so I was surprised to find its set in the 90's & has a modern voice. Its very innocently written, which brought a lot to what was a fairly simple story. I like it when adult authors revisit childhood or the teen years, & manage to fill in the gaps of perspective gleaned only in maturity whilst still retaining the personality & naive voice of the young character. I enjoyed this book a lot, & think its as good a place as any to get into (or continue to enjoy, as in my case) reading coming-of-age stories, which I have a huge soft-spot for.
  • (4/5)
    Wanted to read this before the movie comes out, and for banned book week.
    Enjoyed - don't see what the fuss is about re: banning - if you pay attention to your child what they read is not the most formative influence of their lives.
  • (5/5)
    An amazing book about the struggles of growing up and the effects of abusive events during childhood. Stephen Chbosky delivers a haunting read using the voice of Charlie. You don't know where he lives or who he's writing the letters to. All you know is with each letter he pulls you closer into his elusive world. You get to read about his first experiences with sex, drugs, and love. Chbosky captures the essence of being a teenager rather beautifully. I never get tired of this great read.
  • (5/5)
    I disagree with the negative reviews of this book, though I'll add my own negative review later. Many critics have said they think the narrator's voice sounds too juvenile, and place him around 10 years old, rather than 15/16. I think that as adults we forget what we actually thought and wrote about at that age; he sounds nothing like a 10-year old. Maybe we're too accustomed to reading precocious youngsters who sound too old for their age (or watch movies with way older actors playing younger parts and saying snappier comments than actual kids would utter). Unfortunately for myself, I wrote zines when I was 16, which means I have a record of what a "deep and complicated," and smart, 16 year old sounds like, and it's... well, Charlie sounds about right, to my ears. You have to remember the kid was writing letters, not speaking. Have you read essays written by college students lately? It's a tragic experience, but it will help you remember your own age.I loved this book. I loved it enough that even though my partner, who lives with me, owns a copy, I felt the need to buy a second copy, in case she happened to be re-reading hers at the same moment I wanted to re-read mine. My real complaint is with the ending. I didn't think he needed a background explanation for his "weirdness." The kid did need an explanation for passing out all the time; he was clearly traumatized by something, but it's too easy to read his sensitivity (which is nice) and his trouble having sex with the woman he's obsessed with as a result of his being raped, as opposed to a legitimate desire to not have sex simply because he either doesn't want to or feels he's too young. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a crazy puritan, but I do think that a 15 year old kid simply might not feel ready for his own personal reasons, and that it would be refreshing to read a book about an interesting, sensitive kid who is understood as normal. I took the ending to mean that the author thought his character needed explaining, and I don't think he did.That said, fabulous book, and an absolute page turner. Enjoy it.
  • (5/5)
    I don't even know where to begin. This book is amazing. It's really easy to read and is so direct that is like reading a friends letter. The author writting through "Charlie" is so engaging and unapologetic that I could not put it down for a second. I actually read it in less than 24 hours. (First time in mi life that's happened) Anyway, a true coming of age story which I think anyone over 15-17 should read.
  • (4/5)
    A difficult book to read. Charlie lives in a world where his best friend kills himself, where drugs and alcohol are commonly used to deal with the stress of daily life, where Charlie can only seem to communicate honestly by writing anonymous letters to a person he does not know well. Charlie's world, fortunately, also contains a caring teacher who shares favorite books with Charlie and several fellow outcast teens who, sometimes confrontationally, help Charlie survive and begin to thrive. Recommended.
  • (5/5)
    I am an emotional mess and I am also very happy. I have heard that Stephen Chbosky is an amazing author and this is my first introduction to his work and I am so moved. I feel like he opened up a water fall in me. I immediately went out to get the movie and I am watching it now and balling. This story was an experience for me, not just an amazing read. My only problem is WHY didn't I read this when it came out. It probably would have helped me a lot through high school. "Participate." I like that. I loved how real this novel was. No cookie cutter, easy feelings. It was messy. And I loved every messy bit of it. And the optimism of this book was palpable. I adored Charlie so much. He had it rough and he was always trying to stay happy and hoping for the happiness in others. Ugh. I feel like this is one of those great books that help you in life, that heal you and keep you going.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book even without being in high school. I think it should be a required reading for all kids in high school because it deals with various subject matter a lot of kids may go through in their lifetime. I didn't give the book 5 stars for two reasons. 1) Charlie's rambling throughout the book can give you a bit of a headache at times, and 2) I found that the ending although good, was just thrown at you. I know he is writing in letters, and there are a couple of months between the one letter and the last, but I had no idea where all that stuff was coming from. I feel like the author could have hinted about what to expect, instead of summing everything up in one letter when there was never enough evidence to draw those conclusions on your own.
  • (3/5)
    I was expecting more from a book with a movie deal and such raving reviews. I was turned off by the diary-entry chapters and felt it gave way to lazy writing. It came off as telling me about his day instead of placing me inside it, so as I read, I was always "being caught up to speed" so to speak.

    I also felt like all of the hot topics were thrown in for shock appeal. And that's fine, if they stir and propel the plot. As a writer who tangos with controversial issues, I don't get shy reading unhappy things. However, I don't appreciate when they are included but add nothing to the story. In Wallflower, they seemed to be dropped as soon as they were brought up, which is unrealistic. Rape, domestic abuse, eating disorders, etc have long-lasting effects on people.

    This book could've been improved with a different writing style that keeps the reader in the moment. It also could've been more realistic if all of his peers who encountered bad things in their life reappeared in the narrative and showed signs of change/depression/coping/etc.
  • (3/5)
    Spoiler alert! An okay read and quick, but disappointing. The device where the narrator is writing to an unknown person is poorly explained and makes little sense, and we never learn anything more about why he has chosen this person to write to, who it is or what this person thinks about what's happening. It would have been richer and more interesting if there were more letter-writers or other formats. The writing style is inconsistent, as the author tries to take on the voice of an adolescent, but the grammatical short-cuts and occasional misuse of words usually only serve as distractions. Fleeting references to seeing a psychiatrist are mysterious- the kid really has nothing to say about why he's seeing one and has been prescribed meds? And I found the ending unclear- why was he in the hospital for six weeks? Depression, overdose, suicide attempt? I'm sorry, but I think it's important to tell us; leaving it open-ended isn't satisfying in this case. I just started reading Catcher in the Rye for the first time in thrity years, and I'm afraid the writing is SO much better; there's a reason that one is an enduring classic and this one may be forgotten in another decade ...
  • (3/5)
    A bitter-sweet read.I'll date myself by admitting to graduating high school in 1994. This made many of Charlie's music, movie, and literary experiences, as well as the archetypes of his friends, sound painfully familiar. Charlie himself, however, was only semi-believable for me. That kid sobbed more often than any 15-16 year old guy in existence! There was something very young about him - his thoughts and actions - and I guess if you think of it in terms of trauma survivor behavior, he is acting essentially like his age at the time of the traumatic experiences (I'm trying to keep spoilers to a minimum!). I laughed out loud many times while reading Charlie's observations of situations and people, and the overwhelming message, that in order to experience life you must be "present" and available, is something I wish I'd had the courage to embrace when I was his age.
  • (2/5)
    I'm torn on this one. I thought the overall writing of the book was ok, but I personally didn't enjoy reading it. Probably too graphic for me at this time.
  • (5/5)
    Yup, I jumped on this band-wagon.And it was so wonderful that I don't even want to talk about it for fear of not doing it justice. It's really that good. I don't care who you are or what you've done, read this book. You will get SOMETHING out of it. And if you don't, you're exactly what this book is talking about.4.5 stars. WELL done.
  • (5/5)
    One of the greatest coming of age books that I've read. I love Charlie, he's such a funny and congenial character. In fact, I like every character. The style that Perks is in is creative, and very realistic for a young teen. I thought this book was amazing when I first read it, and I've read it a few more times and felt just as spellbound each time. Everyone who has been a teenager in high school can relate to Charlie's story in some way.
  • (5/5)
    The only teen book that comes close to Salinger.
  • (4/5)
    Wonderful epistolary novel about growing up in high school.
  • (5/5)
    This is one book i would recommend everyone to read once in their life. Its a very well written coming of age book with lovable characters like Charlie, that let you laugh, cry and sympathize with them as you read through this book. Its one that every teenager can relate to, with issues such as sexuality, first loves, friendship and death.
  • (4/5)
    Language wise, nothing to rave about. Plot wise, possibly even formulaic but I liked it nonetheless. To point out a flaw, like other readers have mentioned, it's perplexing that a seemingly gifted, special kid like Charlie writes letters the standard of a primary school student. Ha. I liked the emotional depth of the book. Maybe I'm just a sucker for things that relate well. At least this one's better than Mitch Albom's series.
  • (4/5)
    This is one of those good books that I enjoyed but don't feel like ever reading again. It was interesting and touching, but as it was written in letter form, there was no action which can kind of make it drag. I didn't really like the ending. I wish Charlie had just been weird and am a little disappointed that there was "a reason" behind it.
  • (4/5)
    My first thought, about halfway through, was how come I hadn't read this book earlier. This was because it was published the year before I finished college and I think I really would have appreciated it. But, as I finished the book, I realized I didn't think I would have enjoyed it as much as I did now. And, oh man, how I enjoyed it. It's a well written story of a boy, Charlie, who is writing letters to someone -- to the reader, obviously, but not someone we know. He talks about his life, his worries, cares and basically everything. Unlike other books written in letter/diary/etc formats, this one is very detailed and self-aware unlike anything else I've read. It's as if Charlie is writing to me even though he's really writing to everyone who ever reads the book. I found this to be off-putting at first, but enchanting as the novel went on. Chbosky's writing is strong and he guides us through Charlie's life in such a way that sometimes we feel like we are Charlie, instead of just spectators in his life. His story is complicated, like all lives of teens, but Charlie's is more than just that. He has other problems, depression, guilt, loss, things that most teens can't even begin to understand. But what Chbosky does so well is help us to understand them, through Charlie. Through his experiences, his loves and losses. The Perks of Being a Wallflower has everything, from laughter to tears to joy to heartbreak. And Chbosky weaves these themes together through out the letters Charlie writes. They keep us turning pages, just as much as they keep Charlie going, no matter what happens to him. Chbosky is an exceptional writer and this novel is an exceptional piece of literature.
  • (3/5)
    I can't write this review without mentioning some of the elements of the story that didn't seem quite right: Charlie's voice and vocabulary. He doesn't sound anything like any 15 year old boys that I know. And for an all-A student he has a very limited vocabulary. I kept thinking he must have Asperger's Syndrome. That would explain his sweet simplicity. And how does a 15 year old have a driver's license? Is that legal in some states? And by the way, what's with his parents? He seems to have no curfew at all. For these reasons, the book doesn't quite hang together, although it is an affecting story. It took me a long time to get into it, but once I reached the half-way mark, I wanted to keep reading. I can understand why it appeals to some teenagers, but for me it's not quite believable.
  • (5/5)
    I bought this book because I was very intrigued by the title, but it was also a very good read. Written in the form of letters from a high-school boy, this book was very easy to read and very interesting, spanning a year at school, with all its ups and downs. Charlie makes some discoveries and realisations about himself, and is also very quiet and observant of others.This is not a typical coming-of-age type of a book, although it might be more appropriately read by someone still at school, as they might relate more to the characters. However, through Charlie's letters, the reader is always one step ahead, and somewhat superior over his innocence.I enjoyed reading this book and would certainly recommend it.
  • (4/5)
    oh great, another novel about an austitic kid standing out and being his own man. a re-occuring theme in modern literature, I must say. but it works and this is cleverly written. I dropped it in the toilet by accident while I was reading my girlfriend at the time's copy of it in NYC circa 2005.