Reader reviews for The Perks of Being a Wallflower

its perfectly amused me
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really good book
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6 word review: Struggling with life? You're not alone.
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I'm not sure what I was expecting when I started to read this book. I vaguely knew that it was about an outsider at school (as so many of my preferred books are!). It's set in the early 1990s and the book is an MTV publication, which made me think it was of that time when corporations were desperately trying to make money out of the grunge music scene. The music in this book stays in the background though, unlike say Well by Matthew McIntosh or Bongwater by Michael Hornburg.Our narrator is 15 year-old Charlie, and the book takes the form of a series of letters he is writing to an unknown person. Charlie has a history of mental illness, but he's back at school, enjoying advanced English classes, reading and making new friends. He has a loving and supportive family.Charlie's English teacher advises him to participate in life, so he begins to attend dances, and befriends Sam and Patrick, a brother and sister who are slightly older than him, and who open his eyes to a life outside of school and the possibility of girlfriends and other new experiences. We are to believe that Charlie's innate sensitivity and thoughtfulness are the qualities that endear him to two older students who already appear to have their own lives.However believable you think Charlie's character is, the book is undeniably sweet and moving in its descriptions of Charlie's family life and in his relationships with others, and particularly when he begins to realise the roots of his illness. I found Charlie's voice strange at first - maybe too young and naive for a 15 year-old, but the reasons for this become apparent as the book moves on. I definitely liked it more than I thought I would.
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A quirky book told from journal entries of a 14 year old boy as he navigates high-school and many social situations.
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This is an emotional coming of age story of a thoughtful, troubled young man and his wise, free spirited and accepting new friends. Charlie reminds me of John Singer from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter in his intense observation of the life around him and his longing for friendship and love. The movie version is true to the book and well worth seeing either before or after reading this small, intense book.
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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.
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower, in my opinion, was an excellent book. Some people have complained in reviews that the book is unrealistic, that real teenagers don’t go through that sort of thing in every day life, and that the book is just a stupid fantasy.Well, I respectfully disagree. Real teenagers DO go through what Charlie went through, and I think the author captured that very well. Real teenagers struggle with homosexuality. Real teenagers struggle with acceptance and fitting in. And yes, some teenagers have been molested by family and/or friends. These are very tough issues to right about, so I applaud Stephen Chbosky for being able to write about all of those things, and in such a mesmerizing way, too. I personally felt able to relate to all of the characters in some way. Okay, so perhaps I haven’t been molested, or had to have an abortion. But I definitely know what it feels like to be afraid to live life, afraid to have fun, like Charlie. And I’ve had friends that struggled with their sexuality, just like Charlie.Overall, I think the only weakness the book had was the fact that it was obviously very much like Catcher in the Rye. Of course, that isn’t a bad thing, but it’s always best to have something completely original.I think that the strengths of this book far outweigh the weaknesses. I really enjoyed it, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone that is mature enough. If you’re looking for a good contemporary realistic fiction book, this is a great one!
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The books follows a 16 year old through his first year of high school. It focuses on his struggle to become part of what is going on around him, rather than observing it. With the help of some new friends he becomes less socialy akward and more socially appropriate.
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I read this after my brother hinted (very strongly for the millionth time) that I should. I wish I had strong feelings about the book one way or the other, but the truth is when it was over it was just that. I wasn't happy to be done with the book, nor was I sad the book was over. It was a very neutral experience for me.
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